BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
FALKIRK are sweating over the fitness of key midfield duo James Craigen and Craig Sibbald as they aim to pile the pressure on Hibs at the top of the Championship.
Craigen, who has notched two goals in his last four outings, had to be replaced after falling awkwardly on his ankle during last Saturday’s impressive 2-0 win at Queen of the South – and left Palmerston Park on crutches.
Initial fears that he had suffered ligament have proved unfounded, nevertheless he remains a major doubt for the upcoming trip to face Ayr United as the Bairns medical staff wait for the swelling to subside.
Sibbald is also nursing an ankle complaint, however boss Peter Houston – named Championship manager of the month this week – is more hopeful that he could be in the side to take on the Honest Men.
“James has come down awkwardly on his ankle. I saw it on the telly on Monday night, watching the highlights of the game. That has bubbled up a bit,” Houston explained.
“We have a couple of injuries, wee Sibby [Craig Sibbald] has an ankle injury as well.
“It just goes to show, having more depth in the squad really is important.
“We hope Sibbs will be alright for the weekend, but James is a real doubt if I’m being honest – but some people recover a lot quicker than others and he is feeling quite a bit better than he was on Saturday, when he left the ground on crutches.
“The difference is: we have a squad that can cope with these issues now.”
Paul Watson is facing a spell on the sidelines after undergoing surgery on Wednesday to repair a broken bone in his wrist.
However, there was better news on the fitness front this week as Joe McKee – who has played just one match since joining the club from Carlisle in January – has resumed running in training after as he battles back from a heel complaint.
“That really is great news,” Houston added. “I brought him in during January and, after one magnificent game, he has been injured since.
“But Joe has the boots on and is running again. I think Saturday will be too early, but hopefully Joe can come back into the side and come into his own during a crucial part of the season.”