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York City forward Michael Coulson could be out for season
YORK City are waiting to learn whether winger Michael Coulson will be ruled out for the rest of the season.
Coulson is definitely going to be sidelined until 2013 following the knee injury he suffered in Tuesday night’s 1-0 win at Accrington Stanley.
But the Scarborough-born 24-year-old will have a second scan today to determine whether he has damaged his cruciate ligament – an injury that he suffered twice in the space of a year when a Barnsley player.
Concerned City chief Gary Mills said: “He’s had one scan which revealed cartilage trouble and medial ligament damage so he will definitely be out for six to eight weeks. The specialist also wants to do a second scan to check if there’s any cruciate damage again.
“If there is, then it would maybe mean his season is over so we are hoping that’s not the case.”
Mills admitted that Coulson’s injury, coupled with John McReady’s dislocated shoulder and Oli Johnson’s on-off fitness problems, could necessitate a dip into the loan market for an attacking reinforcement although there is unlikely to be a new face in place for tomorrow’s League Two clash at Southend.
The City boss added: “Oli Johnson has had a season of injuries and niggles and never really got going but he trained with us yesterday and I’m hoping he’s something like ready now. It might be time, though, to get another body in if he’s not quite right with Couls and John McReady out as well.
“We are a bit short in that area but we will get by with the players who can play there, if needs be.”
Right-back Lanre Oyebanjo has returned to full training following his thigh injury and will be in contention for a recall at Roots Hall.
Mills will also decide whether to restore Matty Blair to the right wing from his recent midfield role, which would then lead to a straight choice between Paddy McLaughlin and Jonathan Smith for a slot in the City engine-room.
Former Newcastle United reserve McLaughlin got the nod when Coulson was stretchered off at Accrington and, if preferred, would be making his first start in five matches.
About that possibility, Mills said: “Paddy hasn’t done a great deal wrong and has been excellent for me from day one since he’s been here. I just felt we needed somebody from midfield getting up the pitch and stretching other teams to provide us with an extra forward at times alongside Jason Walker because, although we like to pass the ball, you can’t keep passing it to yourselves in your own half.
“Matty Blair has been superb in that respect. If we switch him to the right wing, which would be a big decision for me to make, then Paddy or Jonathan Smith will have to do the same if they play there.”
On the challenge of Southend, who suffered a surprise midweek home defeat to Aldershot, Mills added: “They will be looking to put that right but we will go away with confidence and self-belief.”