With four huge games left this season to decide whether MK Dons play League 1 football next season, Paul Tisdale has confirmed SIX players will miss the remainder of the campaign through injury.
Alex Gilbey, Jordan Moore-Taylor and Joe Walsh have all gone under the knife of late, while Baily Cargill, Mitch Hancox and Mathieu Baudry are not close to making a return after injuries.
George Williams made a tentative return to training this week after being ruled out since January, but the options at the back in particular are leaving Tisdale with a real headache heading into the final stretch.
He said: “There are no trend to the injuries, nothing we’re doing in training we’re doing. It has been contact injuries and weird and wonderful ailments.
“(Dons physio) Simon Crampton is working really hard with his team. It doesn’t help us much for the next game of course, but he is doing everything he can.
“It’s not just about this week, as a physio, he’s thinking about two or three weeks time.
“In a race, George Williams has kept up the inside. He was ruled out for the season, but he has been developing quickly and is close to being back in the picture.
“But if we look at the others – Mitch Hancox is out for the season, Alex Gilbey now looks like he will be the same. He’s had an ankle operation. Jordan Moore-Taylor went into hospital on Monday for an operation so he will be out for a considerable time.
“Joe Walsh is back in hospital, looking for a fourth operation on his arm after a cut he got in the Lincoln game.
“Baily Cargill is out of his boot and is starting basic training but far from being fit. Mathieu Baudry is still not out on the training ground.”
When Tisdale took over in the summer, he admitted the squad was much larger than he would usually work with.
But with the lengthy injury list he is suffering at the moment, he said it has turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
“We have a larger squad than we would ordinarily carry,” he said.
"With a change in manager and new recruits, we’re a larger group but the silver lining is we’re having to adapt but we have enough to win games. We’re good enough to get results.
“I feel for Simon, the players and for me! It’s hard, but we’re training well and we have to put a performance out to match our skillset.
“I’m really pleased with the players we have available, who are really at it at the moment. I hope the players who are injured can support the rest, we all benefit from success.”