Walsall were today assessing the fitness of midfielder Adam Chambers ahead of tonight’s Capital One Cup showdown with Stoke City.
Chambers required four stitches in his shin following Saturday’s game at Brentford, after being involved in a collision with 21-year-old Bees striker Conor McAleny which saw the latter suffer a broken leg.
He played on after the fourth-minute incident but needed further treatment later and boss Dean Smith revealed the injury was still causing some discomfort.
And he also revealed the 32-year-old, who was absolved of any blame by Bees boss Uwe Rosler, had tried to get in contact with McAleny to offer his support.
“A lot of people probably don’t realise Adam was injured in that incident as well,” said Smith.
“He had his shin bandaged at the time and then had to have stitches after the game.
“It’s a bit sore at the moment and we’ll be taking another look at it before deciding if he will be okay for Stoke.
“Adam has tried to get in touch with the lad (McAleny) and hopes to do so soon. It was really unfortunate what happened, it was a good strong challenge and just one of those things.
“Hopefully he (McAleny) will make a quick and full recovery.”
Chambers has started every game for the Saddlers this season after making 41 appearances last term, before being rewarded with a new two-year deal in the summer.
Should he not be fit, it will give Nicky Featherstone a chance to stake his claim for a regular starting place. The 24-year-old has been limited to appearances off the bench so far as Smith has preferred a central midfield pairing of Chambers and Sam Mantom.
Smith wants his side to make the most of their chance to cause a cup shock.
“This is a nice game for us to have on the back of the defeat at Brentford,” he said.
“We had to work incredibly hard to beat Port Vale in the previous round and the reward is a local derby at a Premier League club.
“We have to go and give a good account of ourselves. It’s a chance for the lads to express themselves and you never know what can happen.”