Injury doubts over Harvey and Purse for Rovers trip
STRIKER Tyler Harvey and captain Darren Purse are injury doubts for Plymouth Argyle's away game against Bristol Rovers on New Year's Day (1pm), writes The Herald's ChrisErrington.
Midfielder Mark Molesley is also set to complete a loan spell from League One outfit Bournemouth after the trip to the Memorial Stadium.
It will be Rovers' first home game since John Ward was appointed as their manager a fortnight ago.
Ward had verbally agreed to become Argyle's director of football until he was offered the chance to take over the Pirates.
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Rovers are bottom of the table in League Two, five points behind 20th-placed Argyle.
However, the Pilgrims have had two more matches than their hosts tomorrow, who have not played since a 2-2 draw at Aldershot Town on Boxing Day.
Harvey, 17, was substituted in the second half of the 1-0 home defeat by Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday because of a calf injury.
Manager Carl Fletcher said: "We are checking on him (Harvey). Hopefully it's not as bad as we first feared."
Purse, 35, has continued to captain Argyle even though he is on the transfer list.
Herald Sport understands there is interest in the experienced centre-back from a couple of other League clubs.
Fletcher: "Pursey has been struggling with a hammy so we will have to see how he is."
Molesley, 30, made his fifth appearance for the Pilgrims as second half substitute against Wycombe.
His loan from Bournemouth ends tomorrow and Fletcher said: "As it stands, tomorrow will be his last game."
Rovers have been hit by injuries for much of this season and Ward has already been busy in adding to his squad.
Three one-month loan deals were completed in advance of the opening of the January transfer window.
They were for Millwall goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall, Colchester United midfielder John-Joe O'Toole and striker Tom Hitchcock from Queens Park Rangers.
Hitchcock made 10 appearances including five starts for Argyle during a loan spell from Blackburn Rovers at the start of last season.
The 20-year-old has not played any first team football since leaving the Pilgrims in October 2011, but he later completed a move to QPR.
Provided all the paperwork is received by the Football League by 10am tomorrow, Mildenhall, O'Toole and Hitchcock will be eligible to play for Rovers against Argyle.
"It's the new manager's first home game in charge so we will be well aware their players will want to impress and try to do well," said Fletcher. "We have got to make sure we are ready for it."
Ward could have been on the dugout beside Fletcher tomorrow but, instead, the pair will be in opposition.
Fletcher said: "That's football. So many things happen in football that people see.
"Even more things happen in football that people don't know about. It never ceases to amaze you."
Argyle have won 3-2 away to Rovers in each of the past two seasons, coming from 2-0 behind on both occasions.
Fletcher said: "We have got a good record there recently so we will go there looking to get a good result."
For updates before and during tomorrow's game you can follow @ChrisErrington1 on twitter.