Elph and safety can go hand in hand

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Eastbourne Borough defender Gary Elphick is desperate to return from injury in time to face Kettering tomorrow (Saturday) and boost their battle to beat the drop.

The 25-year-old vice captain has been plagued by a calf injury this season. Elphick missed two months of the season and returned to play four matches in 11 days.

The schedule proved too much for the no-nonsense defender and he was forced to hobble off the pitch against Mansfield complaining of a tight calf.

Elphick missed the two FA Trophy games against Dorchester but the rest plus some treatment including acupuncture has left him hopeful of being fit for the trip to Kettering.

He said, “As long as I come through training (on Thursday) then I’m available for selection.

The calf has been an on-going problem and now it’s a matter of reducing the scare tissue from the original tear.

“The acupuncture has really helped. I thought it was a bit of a myth that it would but it seems to have done the trick.

“The calf felt much better after the treatment and if it continues then I will book in for a few more sessions.”

A fit Gary Elphick is key to Boro’s quest to avoid the drop especially with fellow defender Matt Langston facing a further six weeks on the sidelines with knee ligament damage. Langston is due to have keyhole surgery.

Elphick added, “We have struggled with injuries. When you look at our squad you wouldn’t have thought we would be in a relegation situation.

“Ross’ (Treleaven) injury has been a big one for us. He is very direct and has an eye for goal and we have struggled in that area since his injury.

“The spirit in the camp is good. We have a good balance of youth and experience and I’m sure we have enough ability in the squad to avoid relegation if we can get our players fit.”

Loanees Steve Masterton and Dan Walker both return to the squad after being cup tied for the Dorchester matches.

Richard Pacquette, who has three goals in two matches since his return from suspension will hope to shrug off a groin problem. Neil Jenkins, Matt Crabb and Matt Smart all played on Tuesday night with niggling injuries but are expected to be fit for Saturday.

Simon Weatherstone is also hopeful of returning to the midfield engine room.

Boss Garry Wilson added, “Kettering will be a very tight match. They gave Crawley a very good game recently and we know it will not be easy for us.

“Hopefully we can keep the momentum going from Tuesday and take that to Kettering.”

Head coach Nick Greenwood should also be fit to make the trip to Kettering. He missed Tuesday night’s game against Dorchester with a stomach bug.