Kidderminster Harriers' plans to hand Reuben Hazell a long-awaited debut in tomorrow's win-or-bust relegation crunch match have been scuppered by a new injury setback.
Harriers manager Stuart Watkiss had pencilled in the right-back to face Bury for his first appearance after a nightmare time on the casualty list. But the summer signing from Torquay United had to be substituted in Wednesday's reserve win over Stafford Rangers.
Watkiss suggests Hazell is still striving to get over the psychological impact of being sidelined for nearly 12 months following knee surgery and the defender believes he is not ready to play yet.
Watkiss said: "Reuben had a reaction to his knee and though it is not as bad as we first feared he will not play on Saturday. He has been training hard and he looks a quality player but it's frustrating that we haven't been able to see him in action yet.
"I know what it is like when you have a serious injury and you feel concerned about playing. You are anxious something might go wrong but then you might come through one crunching tackle and all the doubts disappear."
With Harriers second from bottom, Watkiss intends to have all guns blazing against Bury at Aggborough and will tinker with the line-up to find more attacking options.
Skipper Wayne Hatswell is likely to be omitted, with Billy Jones taking over at left-back with a mission to advance as much as possible.
However, the preparations have been upset by an untimely run of injuries after Gary Birch, Blair Sturrock, Ian Foster suffered knocks playing for the reserves. Sturrock (back and knee) should be fit, Birch (hamstring) is a 70-30 chance but Foster will be absent after aggravating a knee injury.