Carl Fletcher aiming to boost Plymouth Argyle's defensive ranks
MANAGER Carl Fletcher is trying to add to his defensive options at Plymouth Argyle by making another loan signing.
It comes as the Pilgrims are set to be severely depleted for their Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round tie against Aldershot Town at Home Park tomorrow.
Regular centre-back pairing Maxime Blanchard and Darren Purse will be both absent.
Blanchard, Argyle's 2011/12 player-of-the-year, was ruled out of the dismal 2-1 home defeat by AFC Wimbledon on Saturday by concussion.
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Purse picked up his fifth booking of the season in that game and must now serve a one-match suspension.
Striker Warren Feeney and on-loan Watford midfielder Ross Jenkins were both sidelined for the visit of managerless Wimbledon by groin injuries.
Neither of them are expected to play against Aldershot and versatile left-sided player Onismor Bhasera will also be missing.
Bhasera flew out of London Heathrow yesterday to meet up with the Zimbabwe squad for a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Angola next weekend.
Left-back Robbie Williams is also struggling with an injury after the defeat by Wimbledon.
And, on top of that, the loan deals for attacking pair Alex MacDonald and Guy Madjo have both come to an end.
Fletcher admitted he hoped they could be extended 'as soon as possible' but was not any more specific than that.
Madjo is unlikely to play against Aldershot regardless as they are the club who have loaned him to the Pilgrims.
Finally, midfielder Paul Wotton is still not close to making a comeback as he struggles with a back injury.
Asked by Herald Sport whether he would be trying to add a defender to his squad before the JPT clash against Aldershot, Fletcher replied: "Yes, definitely."
He added: "We have got a few (players) in mind but you have to go through the right channels.
"Guy and Macca have settled in and bring something to the squad, and I think that's what we need defensively.
"It keeps everyone else on their toes, even the ones who are playing."
Fletcher had not divulged the injuries to Blanchard and Jenkins before the game against Wimbledon.
Blanchard paid a visit to hospital after the 1-1 draw away to Wycombe Wanderers last Tuesday.
Fletcher said: "He has had a couple of bangs on the head in recent weeks and had a bit of blurred vision after the game against Wycombe.
"He was still getting headaches on Saturday. You have to play on the safe side when it comes to head injuries."
Blanchard had also taken a blow to his head in the 3-2 win away to Morecambe on September 22.
Fletcher said: "We will just have to see how he gets on with it. He hasn't had a scan yet."
Fletcher had not planned to return to Plymouth after the game against Wycombe because an Argyle 'development side' were playing at Reading the following afternoon.
As it turned out, Blanchard also attended that match with the Pilgrims' boss.
Fletcher said: "I was at the hospital with him on Tuesday night. We were sat there for a good few hours doing nothing really.
"We saw the doctor and he told us if the symptoms got worse over the next couple of days Max would need a scan. It was just a case of waiting for the headache to subside."
The groin injury to Jenkins has prevented the 21-year-old from building on an excellent start to his loan spell at Argyle.
He scored on his debut against Morecambe but was then ruled out of the 1-1 draw at home Southend United.
Jenkins returned to action at Wycombe last Tuesday and played the whole game but had to sit it out on Saturday.
Fletcher said: "He's still sore in his groin. We have had a scan and we will have to determine where we go from here with that one."
Jenkins has been signed on a one-month loan, which ends after the away game against Rotherham United on October 27.
Fletcher was not sure whether the injury to the Watford midfielder was a serious one.
He said: "If it gets any longer than this Saturday (when Argyle are away to Barnet) then we will have to make some decisions."
Feeney's groin injury was sustained in the second half against Wycombe.
Fletcher said: "He has had a scan as well and we will have to find where we go from here with that one, in terms of how long he will be out."
ARGYLE supporters are reminded the kick-off against Aldershot is 45 minutes earlier than usual at 7pm.