Benson available for Harriers clash as Shaw heads for operation

Striker Paul Benson is available for selection when Town visit Kidderminster Harriers on Saturday, writes Mike Simmonds.

Jon Shaw holds play up against Forest Green
Jon Shaw holds play up against Forest Green

The 33-year-old forward joined on a season-long loan, but wasn’t considered for the 0-0 draw with Cambridge United on Monday, although is definitely in contention this weekend.

Town boss John Still said: “Yes he will be, based on the fact that we haven’t got anyone else.

“He’ll be considered , but the person who will have the final say on that is Paul.

“He’s a player, he knows quite a few of the lads here. When you’re around football, he’s been at Dagenham, Swindon, Charlton, loan spells at Cheltenham and Portsmouth, they’re players. They soon get settle in quickly and Paul has had no problems at all.”

Benson hasn’t played a competitive game since May after admitting had been completely frozen out while at the County Ground, reduced to taking part in gym sessions on his own.

Still said: “He hasn’t played, so he’s not very match fit, but he’s a fit boy, he doesn’t carry any weight.

“I know him very well, so I know he’s been working very hard off of the playing pitch.

“I don’t think it’s going to take him too long to get up to speed, so I’m hoping another couple of three weeks he’ll be as good as he can be.

“He was always a player we wanted to try and get it if it was possible. Fortunately it was possble.”

Benson’s arrival has meant striker Jon Shaw, who was forced off during the goalless draw on Monday, has now been sent for his hernia operation.

Still continued: “Jon has gone in for his operation now. They say with these things, six weeks. I’ve had players back in four or five weeks, I’ve had players back in two months.

“I don’t put a timescale on it, but if you spoke to the physio they’d say five to six weeks.

“Where operations come in, I don’t really listen too much to timescales, I wait and see when they start training.

“Otherwise you put players under pressure, you say they’ll be back in four weeks and after three they push on really when they shouldn’t, so let’s wait and see.”

Alex Wall is getting closer to his first action of the season too after coming through 75 minutes in an inter-squad friendly during the week as Still said: “That’s massive. We’re all big Alex Wall fans here. Not having Jon 100 per cent and not having him fit at all, it’s been a bit of blow, it has.

“But that’s football. We got on with it and didn’t worry too much about it.

“It’s great having him not injured because he needs a bit of time and when Jon comes back, we should be looking at three what might be classed as centre forwards.”

Town’s other injury problems appear to be clearing, with both Mark Cullen and Solomon Taiwo back in training, although Alex Lawless remains a major doubt.

Still added: “Mark’s trained, it was one of those things where it was impact, but he’s been fine this week.

“Solomon Taiwo has trained which is okay, while Alex Lawless is slowly slowly. He’s trained a little bit, but after all this time it’s no point in rushing to try and get him through to where he should be.”

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