Barnsley manager Gerhard Struber has revealed midfielder Callum Styles is facing six weeks on the sidelines with an ankle injury.
Styles has made nine appearances in all competitions for the Tykes this season, with Struber handing the 19-year-old his first Championship start in the defeat to Birmingham earlier this month.
It seems however, as though Styles will have to wait some time yet before he gets another opportunity, as speaking in his pre-match press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Middlesbrough, Struber was quoted by the Yorkshire Evening Post as saying: “Callum Styles is out, he has ruptured ligaments in his ankle.
“He will be out for four to six weeks. He is not available right now but he is a big talent at the club.”
That is something that appears to be a source of disappointment for Struber, as the Barnsley boss continued: “He has shown me in training and in the games, he has played that he is a good talent, especially for the future. And we hope he can come back very quickly.”
Elsewhere, Barnsley’s midfield options could be boosted by the return of January signing Marcel Ritzmaier, who missed the last four games with a knee problem, although a muscle injury that has kept Sami Radlinger out of the last three games will once again leave the Tykes without their goalkeeper for the clash with Jonathan Woodgate’s side.
Discussing the situation around the duo, Struber added: “Ritzmaier is back, he had his first training session today.
“Sami Radlinger is out, he cannot play on Saturday. I think we need to wait one or two weeks for him.”
Despite their 3-0 win over Fulham last time out, Barnsley go into Saturday’s game still bottom of the Championship table, albeit now just six points adrift of safety.
The news around Styles in particular will be frustrating for Barnsley.
Struber clearly likes what he has seen of the teenager, meaning he could well have been something of a wild card option for the Tykes to turn to in the battle for survival over the next few weeks.
Ritzmaier’s return should at least be a boost for the Tykes, given the experience and control he can bring to the centre of the park for them.
In goal meanwhile, Brad Collins has proved a capable deputy for Radlinger in recent weeks, which should offset the disappointment of the continued absence of the 27-year-old somewhat.