BARNSLEY will make ‘late calls’ on all three of their usual central midfielders before Saturday’s game.

Luca Connell missed Tuesday’s game at Oxford with a stomach bug while Adam Phillips and Herbie Kane were taken off with ankle and hamstring problems.

Head coach Neill Collins said: “All three have been assessed. It’s still quite a short period since Tuesday.

“They have improved but decisions still have to be made. They are players who we want to include. We will make late decisions on all three.

“It doesn’t look like anything longer term on the face of it.

“Considering Luca missed a third of the season with a mystery illness, we’re hoping it’s a stomach bug and nothing more sinister.

“We’re hoping they are back if not Saturday then next week.”

Josh Benson and Theo Chapman are out with longer-term injuries so the only fit central midfielder in the senior squad is Jon Russell.

He finished the midweek match in a central three alongside striker John McAtee and wing-back Corey O’Keeffe. Teenager Jonathan Bland was on the bench at Oxford while Vimal Yoganathan has also been around the first team this season.

Donovan Pines’ international clearance came through this week and he trained with the first team for the first time on Thursday. The centre-back, who has not played since October 1, is expected to train all next week then play in a friendly the following week before potentially being considered for the first team.

Centre-back Jamie McCart has missed the last three games with a calf problem.

Collins said: “He’s progressing. He’s back running. Hopefully we will just build him up now.

“The fact he is back running is a good sign. I couldn’t give an exact timeline. He will be back doing some sort of football soon.”

Midfielder Benson has been out injured for more than two months.

Collins said: “He’s back out doing running and moving. Josh has been out a lot longer than others so getting him up to speed might just take a little bit longer. It would be great to have him back in the squad.”

Fabio Jalo picked up an injury during the under 21s’ game on Tuesday.

He has been assessed and scanned, with the club waiting for results.