Derry City wingback Danny Lafferty the latest injury concern for Ruaidhri Higgins

RUAIDHRI HIGGINS admits injuries could force Derry City into the market for out of contract players after Danny Lafferty became the latest heading for the Brandywell club’s treatment table.

Danny Lafferty is rated doubtful for Friday night's match against Bohemians at Dalymount Park after sustaining a hamstring injury.
Danny Lafferty is rated doubtful for Friday night's match against Bohemians at Dalymount Park after sustaining a hamstring injury.

The experienced wingback has been enjoying a rich vein of form, however, Higgins confirmed the ex-Burnley man strained his hamstring in training last week.

The City boss insists the injury is simply a ‘minor setback’ but reckons Friday’s trip to Bohemians will come too soon for the player as the Candy Stripes attempt to extend their unbeaten run to seven.

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“Danny sustained a grade one hamstring a few days ago so it’s highly unlikely that he will be available for the game at the weekend,” confirmed Higgins.

“It’s not a major one. Grade one is normally 10 or 12 days (recovery) so Friday will probably come a bit too soon for him.

“We’ve obviously been playing with wingbacks recently so we will have to consider that one. Danny has been in really good form but it’s not long term which is the positive.”

Higgins is therefore expected to reshuffle his defensive pack for the Dalymount Park test but he does have plenty of options available with Ciaran Coll the obvious replacement.

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“They’re different types of full-backs but we have great options there. We have been dealt a few injury blows but as I said this isn’t serious and maybe if the game was a couple of days later, he might have made it. It’s highly unlikely at this stage.

“However, we have a really good group of players here and regardless of the system we play, we know we’re capable.”

With Michael Duffy (broken leg) and Ciaron Harkin (ACL) long term absentees, Higgins confirmed he was assessing his options when it came to signing out of contract players, including those ‘flagged up’ and made available from Ukrainian and Russian leagues after UEFA waived transfer window rules on account of the conflict in the region.

“It’s definitely something we won’t rule out,” he said. “It has to be a free agent who was out of contract before the last window shut. There’s been a couple that have been flagged up so we will have a look at it and see where we go but it’s not something that’s a major concern.

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“One or two injuries have left us slightly light, squad-wise. If we have to bring in someone short term and it’s something I’m not keen about, then we’ll see but there’s nothing set in stone as yet. It has to be someone who is a bit different to what we’ve got.”

The City boss did have some positive news to report with frontmen Matty Smith and Patrick McEleney returning to the fold after missing the wins against Drogheda and St Patrick’s Athletic.

“They’re both back in full training which is great for us. They have both looked really sharp over the last few days so that’s been a great boost,” he added.