Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber has revealed that striker Cauley Woodrow could make his return from injury when his side host Preston North End at Oakwell on Tuesday night.
Woodrow is Barnsley’s joint-top scorer this season with nine goals in 22 league appearances, with the attacker yet to feature in 2020 due to a hamstring injury, although that could change against Preston.
Speaking about Woodrow’s fitness situation ahead of that game, Struber was quoted by The Barnsley Chronicle as saying: “Cauley is ready, he is fit and he will be in the squad. I am in the exchange with the physiotherapy team about what is best for him.”
Discussing how big a part Woodrow could play against Preston, Struber added: “He has not played for three weeks so maybe it is too dangerous to start him. We will look for 20 or 30 minutes. This is enough for him and a big plus for my team.”
Woodrow is not the only fitness concern Barnsley have had recently, with midfielder Mike Bahre, defenders Bambo Diaby and Clarke Odour, and goalkeeper Sami Radlinger all missing Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Bristol City.
Assessing the chances of any of that quartet featuring on Tuesday, Struber went on to explain: “Bambo has problems. We must take no risks with him. Clarke has a problem with his ankle ligament but we test him in training and we hope he is ready for the game.
“Sami trained on Sunday. We hope that he is ready for tomorrow. It looks good. Mike is not ready yet. Many players have had problems with the flu. It’s a normal situation at this time of the year.”
Following that defeat at Ashton Gate, Barnsley go into the game 22nd in the Championship table, and are currently one point adrift of safety, although 21st place Stoke do have a game in hand away at league leaders West Brom on Monday night.
Preston meanwhile will start the evening ninth in the second-tier table, two points off the play-offs after their 2-1 win over Charlton on Saturday.
Having Woodrow back ought to be a big boost for Barnsley here.
The 25-year-old has been in very impressive form for the struggling Tykes this season, and you feel his added goal threat will give them a big lift going forward.
With that in mind, it does seem to make sense to bring Woodrow back into the fold against Preston, rather than risk causing an aggravation of any lingering issues for the striker that may put him back on sidelines, something which would only do Barnsley’s survival hopes more harm than good.
The return of Radlinger in goal and Odour in defence should also strengthen Barnsley’s backline, although the absence of Bahre’s influence in midfield will be disappointing for the Tykes.