POOL will dip into the loan market for a striker if Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s knee injury proves serious.
The frontman was stretchered off at Goodison Park after a collision with Everton keeper Tom Howard, then left the ground on crutches with a protective pot on his leg. He is out of tomorrow’s clash with West Ham.
Defender Alex Baptiste is also a major doubt after needing stitches in a leg wound.
Boss Ian Holloway admitted he is worried Taylor-Fletcher, a key man with seven goals this season, may be sidelined for a while – not good timing with a promotion run-in to come. The manager said: “You always fear the worse when one of your lads get injured. Fletch’s kneecap and thigh were going one way and the lower part of his leg was knocked back the other way – that normally means some ligament damage.
“If he is going to be out for five or six weeks, I may need to bring in somebody in on loan.
“If that’s the case, I’m sure I’ll be supported by my chairman and we will be able to do that. We all want success and we are trying to get it.”
Taylor-Fletcher, who will have a scan today, tweeted: “Agony. Got ice pack on. Gutted won’t be able to play tomorrow.”
Holloway added: “Fletch’s knee is badly swollen and very sore. He has a cast on it and when it settles down we will see how he is. I have never seen anything like it in my life.
“It is a shame because he looked pretty lively. He was one of our lads who could get on the ball, get at Everton and cause them some problems, but unfortunately it wasn’t to be.”
As for Baptiste, Holloway added: “Alex needed stitching up and I just hope all these injuries aren’t going to hurt us.
“I’ve no complaints about the challenges that caused them – they were all fair tackles and well-timed.
“It just goes to show that you have to compete first and play second, and sometimes we haven’t quite got that the right way round.”