Duo Out

Neither Grant McCann nor Gary Charles will play again this season.

But there are no casualties to the first teamers who were involved in two games in three days over the Easter weekend, apart from Vladimir Labant - who could still be available for the squad to face Charlton on Saturday.

Says physio Simon Webster: "I think we have come through relatively unscathed though there are a few with a little bit of illness more than anything. There shouldn't be any problems for Saturday when those players will hopefully be raring to go.

"Vladimir is still a little bit sore but it hard to tell at this moment in time. We should have more of an indication in a day or so.

"In general, I think we have come through okay, which is a bonus at this stage of the season from our point of view."

But the news is less promising for squad members Gary and Grant, the latter of whom at least would have hoped for a run out of some sort now that relegation has been avoided.

Glenn Roeder handed him his debut on the final day of last season and offered the Northern Ireland youngster a new deal when he took over permanently as manager, when otherwise he would have left the club.

But Simon explains of the injury he sustained making his first start for the Irish against Liechtenstein last week: "Grant has had quite a serious medial ligament problem and won't be playing before next season. Hopefully he will progress over the summer and I would have thought he will be ready for pre-season.

"He would possibly have had a game. Who is to know what the gaffer would have done now we are safe with a few games to go, so it is a bit of a disappointment for him."

As for Gary, who has made just two Premiership starts since joining from Benfica for £1.2m nearly three years ago, Simon says: "After a lateral meniscus it is six to eight weeks so it is early days. It is always tough when you keep picking up these silly little injuries and you are not able to contribute to a full season.

"He has been a little bit unfortunate from what I can see with the things that he has picked up."

Titi Camara is on the comeback trail, however, and Simon says: "Titi had a bit of a bone bruise on his fibula and he is doing a fair bit of cardiovascular work and hopefully will be ready to join in soon."

Hayden Foxe, too, is on the mend, and Simon adds: "Foxey is progressing nicely after his patella tendonitis."

As for the one real long term injury, Don Hutchison, Simon adds: "Don is fine. It is hard to adjust to the time period involved with a long term injury but from our point of view he is progressing on a day to day basis very well.

"We are not setting any real targets at this stage and trying to keep his mood up all the time."

Grant McCann's loss might just turn out to be Shaun Byrne's gain, as he has fully recovered from injury and is hoping for the chance to show what he can do before the season is over.

Shaun has made two substitute appearances in the last two seasons - at Newcastle and Everton - and has been offered a new contract at the club.

Concludes Simon: "It is important for Shaun to get a string of games going because he has had an injury hit season, and it is one he needs to finish strongly."