BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Raith Rovers are facing a defensive crisis ahead of their Championship opener against Livingston next week after Lewis Toshney suffered ankle ligament damage.
The former Celtic defender was withdrawn after 65 minutes of the Fifers’ 1-0 win over Cowdenbeath on Saturday following a heavy challenge.
Scans have allayed fears that the 18-year-old suffered a fracture, however he has damaged ligaments and will be sidelined for the start of the season.
Toshney has already been ruled out of Saturday’s League Cup tie against Albion Rovers, albeit his absence will be somewhat mitigated by the return of Kyle Benedictus.
However, Benedictus is suspended for the league opener and, although Toshney wrote on Twitter that his “aim is to be back for the first game of the season”, it appears unlikely he will be in any shape to line up against the Lions on August 8.
Craig Barr also remains unavailable and first-team coach Laurie Ellis, while not yet formally retired, did not feature in any of the club’s pre-season fixtures.
That will leave 18-year-old David Bates, who made his senior debut against the Blue Brazil on Saturday, as the club’s only recognised centre-half for the encounter against Livi.