Ryan Taylor is the man behind the mask at Fleetwood Town

Fleetwood Town's Ryan Taylor
Fleetwood Town's Ryan Taylor

Joey Barton joked that Ryan Taylor looks like the ‘Phantom of the Opera’ as he has been forced to wear a face mask in aiding his recovery from a broken nose.

The 34-year-old joined Fleetwood Town in September but has not featured since the 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers in December.

Having initially fallen out of favour, he then picked up the injury in a game against Wigan Athletic in last month.

He is still working his way back to fitness and will not be in contention for today’s trip to Accrington Stanley.

“Ryan Taylor is still struggling,” Barton revealed ahead of this afternoon’s match.

“He has had an operation. He broke his nose in a bad way in a bounce game and needed to get an op.

“He has done that and looks like the Phantom of the Opera!

“We will see how that progresses in the next couple of weeks.”

Also set to miss the Accrington trip are James Wallace, club captain Craig Morgan and Dean Marney.

Wallace has been absent since he picked up a hamstring tweak in Town’s 1-0 win at Bradford City in January.

Marney has not featured since the 3-2 FA Cup exit against AFC Wimbledon, also in January.

Barton’s former Clarets team-mate had initially fallen out of favour but has struggled with illness and a calf injury since then.

He is still sidelined, as is Morgan who has encountered a problem in his return following a calf injury.

Morgan has been on the sidelines since the 1-0 defeat of Charlton Athletic last month.

That was the game in which Stoke City loanee Harry Souttar made his debut in the heart of the Fleetwood backline.

“James Wallace is running,” Barton said when providing an update on Town’s injury list.

“Saturday’s game comes a little bit too soon for him but we still have a number of fixtures after this.

“We want everyone out on the training pitch and competing for places. We will see where he is.

“Morgs had a bit of a setback with his calf; Marns is still progressing, he should be there or thereabouts in the next couple of weeks.”