Matt Doherty will keep Wolves waiting until the 11th hour before a decision is taken on his fitness for Saturday’s derby visit of Coventry, Kenny Jackett admitted today.
The in-form right-back withdrew from international duty on Sunday after suffering tightness in his groin in Friday’s 0-0 draw with Romania in the UEFA Under-21 Championships qualifying round Group Six in Piatra Neamt.
Doherty is at Compton for treatment and missed the return fixture against the same opponents at Sligo’s Showgrounds today. The 21-year-old defender joins captain Sam Ricketts (knee) in keeping Wolves guessing all week in the countdown to the visit of the Sky Blues.
Head coach Jackett said: “Doherty’s come back early from international duty with a groin injury, which he did in the game.
“We don’t know how long he’s going to be out for but we’re hopeful he’ll be OK for Saturday. We’ll see.
“It depends how the week goes for him, but he’ll be very close for the weekend anyway, as to whether he’s fit or not.
“It’s not anything major, but around about a week is usual for this type of injury.”
Jackett admitted losing Doherty – who has arguably been Wolves’ most consistent player this season – will be a disappointment.
“It would be a big blow because he’s been an ever present in the league and played very well,” he said.
“He’s made good progress, both defensively and going forwards where he’s created a lot of chances for us.
“He scored a vital goal at Bristol City and been a real threat for us down that right-hand side, setting up two goals at Colchester.”
Jackett is already looking at possible replacements for the ever-present pair.
“The people who have played in the back four are Doherty, Danny Batth, Richard Stearman, Ricketts and Scott Golbourne.
“After that, Kevin Foley and George Elokobi would be waiting for a chance.
“They both played last week in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, as did Ethan Ebanks-Landell. So they’re the options.”
With Bakary Sako available again, Golbourne can move back to left-back and Stearman can play alongside Danny Batth at centre-back if Ricketts is ruled out.
If Doherty misses out, Kevin Foley is the other option at right-back, although Stearman can play there but hasn’t done so under Jackett.