John McAtee concern for Barnsley, plus Neill Collins gives updates on Luca Connell and Liam Roberts

BARNSLEY head coach Neill Collins says the club should find out the extent of John McAtee’s knee injury later today, with the striker set for a spell on the sidelines.

McAtee, who has impressed after signing on a season-long loan from Premier League outfit Luton, injured himself in scoring in the Reds’ EFL Trophy game at Blackpool on Tuesday night, with concerns abound regarding the 24-year-old.

Questioned about an update on McAtee, who had netted six times since heading to Oakwell, Collins – whose side visit Reading in League One on Saturday – said: "We will know more today, so we just need to wait and see and take that as it comes.

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"I’ve no idea (on any length of potential absence) and it’s wrong of me to try and even guess. We (just) hope that it’s quick recovery. He will be a miss, but it’s an opportunity for someone else.”

Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.
Barnsley head coach Neill Collins. Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Collins has also revealed that midfielder Luca Connell is being assessed regarding a small injury concern ahead of the trip to Berkshire.

The former Bolton and Celtic player, who has been integrated back into the first-team fray after being diagnosed with post-viral fatigue in the summer, had started four matches in succession prior to the midweek trip to Bloomfield Road, when he was not involved.

Collins said: "Luca Connell, obviously just having come back from a long time out and playing three or four games (quickly) has a small thing which we need to be conscious of and we’re hoping he comes through training today.

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"Outside of that, everyone (aside from other injuries) are very good.”

The Reds chief has also provided positive news regarding loan keeper Liam Roberts, who could be back in the reckoning before the turn of the year.

Roberts, who impressed all and sundry in the opening months of his season-long loan move from Middlesbrough, underwent surgery to repair an injured finger in October.

Collins continued: "There’s a strong possibility (Roberts could return this year). He’s a very positive guy, so it’s good to have him back and even better to have him back on the training pitch.

"He is getting there and he’s in the building and starting to do some exercises. We are certainly edging a lot closer to Liam being back in the squad.