Jimmy Walker injury worry sparked Walsall FC loan for McCarey

Boss Dean Smith today admitted concerns over Jimmy Walker’s fitness convinced him to move for Aaron McCarey but insisted the Walsall legend has a future at the club.

Jimmy Walker
Jimmy Walker

The Saddlers record appearance holder is yet to feature this season after signing a deal as player-coach in the summer. He picked up a calf injury earlier in the season and has struggled to regain his match fitness this year.

Smith signed Wolves loanee McCarey last week after it became apparent Walker couldn’t play but said the 39-year-old is still in his plans.

“David (Grof) was under a bit of pressure after the Lincoln game and I was looking to put Wacka in if I could but he’s not in a condition to play,” he said, ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Hartlepool. “He openly admits that and I had to get a goalkeeper in on loan.

“He’s player-coach here, he’s got a part to play. If it comes to a stage where he doesn’t feel like he can get his condition back, that’s a conversation we’ll have then. He had a calf injury and it’s ended up being longer than we thought and with that his condition has tailed off a little.

“It’s always hard at his age to get it back. We’ve spoken about it and he realises he has to work hard to get his condition back.”

Meanwhile, Dean Holden insisted Walsall cannot rest after two decent draws at play-off chasing Crawley and leaders Tranmere.

Holden faces his former Falkirk manager John Hughes, who was appointed Hartlepool boss last week, and wants to continue the momentum.

He said: “We’ve still got a long way to go. We’re not shouting from the rooftops because we’ve got two draws on the road but we’ve put the groundwork in now. We’ve got to back it up with a big win tomorrow.”

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