ACCRINGTON Stanley’s keeper curse has struck again - with talisman Kenny Arthur out for up to a month and Ian Dunbavin struggling to be fit for tomorrow’s clash with Rotherham at the FES.
Arthur was kept in hospital for three nights after Friday’s 5-1 humbling at Lincoln, having played all of the second half despite a bleeding kidney.
And deputy Dunbavin’s ongoing recovery from a double hernia operation was curtailed in Wednesday’s reserve game with Burnley, when he came off at half-time with a sore groin, after shipping four.
Coleman remains optimistic that ‘Bavs’ will be available for the Millers’ visit, but if not 32-year-old goalkeeping coach Jamie Speare could make his first Football League appearance for over a decade. Coleman may also try seek an emergency loan, and could enquire about Burnley third choice stopper Gabor Kiraly.
The return of the keeper hoodoo is a headache the Reds boss could well do without as his squad remains injury-stretched, although Paul Mullin and Chris King could return from foot and groin injuries respectively.
Skipper Peter Cavanagh will also come back into contention for the Christmas period and is due to resume training on Monday.
Back in September Dunbavin’s first appearance of the season lasted just 24 minutes after he suffered a deep gash in his knee at Tranmere.
Arthur returned to first team action in February after suffering a broken leg and the position has often appeared to be jinxed since the Conference days.
After the reserves game Coleman said: "Historically we’ve not had any luck with goalkeeping injuries. I made an error at Lincoln keeping Kenny on.
"The doctor said he was okay at half-time and he wasn’t showing any signs of being unable to continue. It’s a chance for Bavs to come in. He’s not 100 per cent as he showed today and he has come off as a precaution."
Initially it was feared Arthur could be out for up to six weeks, but the player is hoping to be back for the visit to Rochdale on 3 January.
The Stanley boss also insisted that all is not "doom and gloom" ahead of the Rotherham game.
He said: "We’ll see who’s fit and build our team and system around who’s available. If people have got a shirt on Saturday it’s up to them to keep it. I think we’ve done okay considering the luck and the injuries we’ve had."
After a bright start to the campaign they started on -17 points, Rotherham have gone six weeks without a league victory. But they returned to form in midweek with a shoot-out defeat of Darlington in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy to reach the northern area final.
Coleman said: "They’ve done really well to get themselves back into contention and they’re a good side. But like other teams in the division they are prone to have the odd crazy result."