Brighton & Hove Albion have captain Gordon Greer and winger Jamie Murphy back in contention for Saturday’s home match with Preston North End.
Greer trained with the Championship leaders this morning after limping off during Saturday’s win at Leeds with a jarred knee, while Murphy is back available after a three-game suspension.
Kazenga LuaLua also trained today but Saturday’s game is likely to come too soon for him, while central midfielder Beram Kayal will serve a one-game ban after picking up five bookings.
Albion boss Chris Hughton said: “We have been fortunate that we haven’t had too many injuries. Gordon Greer trained this morning, so he’ll be close, which is a plus.
“Jamie’s back (from suspension), which was unfortunate at the time because he was in very good form, so that’s a real plus for us.
“Whether it’s injuries or suspensions, they are going to happen and you just hope you have the competition and the squad to be able to cope and, at this moment, we do.”
On LuaLua, Hughton said: “The assessment on Kazenga will be that he’s been out for a period of time. We need to make sure that we get it right with him and, of course, with anyone returning back from injury it’s not just about the next game but a period of time.”
Crofts could replace Kayal in the starting line-up having recently returned from a year out with a knee injury.
He has made two substitute appearances, so could be in line for his first start since October, 2014, and Hughton said: “You can only work the hardest you can with players and expect them to work as hard as they can in training.
“On most occasions, players come in because we’re confident enough that the game will take over and the levels they can aspire to, they will reach.
“So, is Andrew Crofts ready? He’s trained very, very hard for a long period of time. He’s played in two 90 minute games for the under-21s and two half games as well, so he’s trained very well and he’ll be as ready as anybody who hasn’t been involved.”
Hughton is expecting a tough game for his Championship leaders when Preston visit The Amex and said: “They’re on the back of their best result of the season away to Charlton.
“When you go into every game, it’s about what you want to do as a team and, particularly, being the home team, can you cause the opposition enough problems in your system? Of course, you have to cater for what you’re up against.
“Bristol City were on the back of a really good result against Nottingham Forest and gave us a really tough game. Going into that last period, it became a very open game and could have been a draw but, fortunately for us, we had that bit of quality that enabled us to get the win. They’re the small margins.
“Preston are on the back of their best result and will certainly be in good spirits. They’ve got some good players and a very good manager and I think they’ll be fine. We need to make sure we do what we need to do come Saturday.”
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