Key players on the mend

Last updated : 19 January 2002 By Brian Cartlidge
Stan is on the way back
Manager Steve Bruce has said that he was becoming more hopeful that Martin Grainger will be fit for Saturday.

The left-back has struggled with a calf problem since New Year's Day.

Influential winger Stan Lazaridis is benefiting from a week's training after a hamstring pull.

Bryan Hughes and Jon McCarthy are both fit again and played in the Birmingham Senior Cup success at Halesowen on Wednesday.

Winger McCarthy played for the full ninety minutes of that game and scored.

And striker Paul Furlong is now back in full training after minor surgery to correct an ankle problem.

Blues have some tough fixtures coming up in the next few weeks, beginning with the home fixture with Wimbledon on Saturday, so with these players returning there are more options open to the Blues boss.

He will, however, have to do without the services of Martin O'Connor and Geoff Horsfield for next week's game at West Brom, both players face a one game suspension.

Also missing from that game will be Curtis Woodhouse who faces a three game ban for his sending-off at Millwall last week, a decision Bruce was hoping the referee would over-turn after looking at video evidence