New Florent Cuvelier injury blow for Walsall FC

Walsall loanee Florent Cuvelier was today set for another spell on the sidelines after the midfielder suffered another injury blow. 

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Manager Dean Smith admitted it was unlikely the Stoke midfielder would play again before his loan expires in two weeks after a second hamstring injury.

The 20-year-old was carried off in yesterday’s 1-0 win over Stevenage – his first start for two months after initially tearing his hamstring in October.

Cuvelier’s loan ends on January 13 and Smith confirmed the 20-year-old had suffered a similar injury.

He said: "Looking at the injury now, I don’t think he will play before his loan period is up again. That’s a blow but we will have to wait and see on the prognosis.

“It’s too early to say how long he will be out for, but it looks like the same hamstring again. He will go for an MRI scan and we will take it from there.

“He’s come on in the last three games and it’s been slowly, slowly. He started because we didn’t have Febian Brandy and it’s one of those things which is unfortunate for Flo.”

The Saddlers, who now host fourth-from-bottom Portsmouth on Friday, are also sweating on Andy Taylor after the left-back suffered a groin injury in the first half.

Smith added: “I don’t know about Andy. When injuries happen during the game you don’t assess them until the next day.

“Mal Benning did well when he came on and if Andy is struggling then Mal can come in. He’s got a fine career in front of him.”

The injuries marred a fine win after Jamie Paterson’s late rocket made it three wins from four games and moved the Saddlers 11 points clear of the drop zone.

Smith insisted he will need to judge whether to move in the transfer market when the full extent of the injuries to Cuvelier and Taylor are revealed.

He said: “I’m not sure, I will assess it when we find out on the injuries. We have got ample replacements like Febian Brandy, James Baxendale and Ashley Hemmings.

"We have got some good players here.”