Wolverhampton Wanderers have sent influential winger Michael Kightly to see a specialist to find the cause of his reoccurring ankle problem.
The 21-year-old damaged his ankle during the 0-0 draw in the Black Country derby at West Bromwich Albion on November 25. It appeared he had shaken off the problem when he made a goalscoring and match-winning substitute appearance during the 2-1 victory over Cambridge United in the FA Cup.
However, manager Mick McCarthy revealed that Kightly and was forced to limp out of a training session after just 20 minutes last week. It was hoped a further period of rest would cure the problem but it appears that may not be the case.
"Kights is not right," McCarthy said. "He trained last Thursday and he felt it. Unfortunately, it is one of those injuries where rest seems to be the only answer. That frustrates him because he can't really do a lot and telling someone likes Kights, who is full of bounce, to rest is difficult."
It is no coincidence that Kightly's absence has coincided with Wolves' poor run. The win over non-league Cambridge was their only victory in nine games and they have picked up four points from 24.
The former Tottenham Hotspur trainee joined Wolves on loan from non-league Grays Athletic in November 2006 and impressed with two goals in five appearances. He signed permanently the following January for a nominal fee and has scored ten times in 40 appearances.
McCarthy's interest in Colchester left-back George Elokobi could also be rekindled. The U's continue to pursue Walsall full-back Danny Fox and if Fox agrees a move, Colchester will be more open to allowing Elokobi to come to Molineux.
Meanwhile, Wolves's misfiring strikers have been offered words of advice from club legend David Kelly. The 42-year-old, who began his career with Alvechurch and Walsall, signed for Wolves from Newcastle United for £750,000 in June 1993. He scored 36 goals in 96 appearances over two seasons for Wolves and has told the club's current strikers to keep believing in their own ability.
"I once went ten games without scoring but you just have to keep believing in yourself," he said. "You do extra training and more finishing drills. You have to believe the chance will come and you'll score."
None of Wolves' strikers have managed to find their form this season and McCarthy has tried every permutation. Last week, he signed Sylvan Ebanks-Blake from Plymouth Argyle for £1.5 million in a bid to end Wolves' record as the Championship's lowest scorers.
Stephen Ward has not scored since February 2007 but has operated almost exclusively as a left-winger. Kelly had a similar experience when he was at Sunderland and has sympathy. "I played 30 games on the right wing when Peter Reid was manager and I never scored a goal," added Kelly.
"Ward won't be happy with playing on the wing because he's a striker."
* Steve Bull has paid his tributes to the man who brought him to Molineux and launched his career. Bull joined Wolves from West Bromwich Albion in 1986 in a joint deal with full back Andy Thompson after being spotted by scout Ron Jukes, who died last Sunday aged 79.
"Wolverhampton Wanders fans owe Ron thanks for some of the happy times they enjoyed while Tommo and I were at the club, because we wouldn't have been without Ron," Bull said."He kick-started my career and I owe him my gratitude." ..SUPL: