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Monday, 20 October 2014

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Carlisle Utd striker Lee Miller devastated by injury blow

Lee Miller admits he is struggling to come to terms with being ruled out of the rest of Carlisle United’s play-off bid.

Carlisle Utd Lee Miller photo
Lee Miller

The striker’s season is over after it was yesterday confirmed his groin injury is serious enough to keep him out of action for the Blues’ run-in.

The news came as a desperate blow to manager Greg Abbott, who must try to steer United back into League One’s top six without his most important player.

And 15-goal frontman Miller admitted his disbelief that the injury he suffered in Monday’s draw with Scunthorpe had finished his first campaign at Brunton Park.

On his Twitter page the 28-year-old Scot wrote: “Absolutely gutted that I’m gona miss the rest of season, can’t get ma head around it!!”

The Blues suffered a further blow when it was revealed that versatile defender/midfielder Chris Chantler, who has excelled at left-back recently, is also out for the season.

The former Manchester City player has a hamstring injury and went to the same surgeon as Miller for a scan on Tuesday.

Neither man will be fit for the play-offs should United finish in the top six, the Blues said, with both expected back for the start of pre-season.

The loss of Miller gives Abbott a tough selection decision ahead of this weekend’s visit of leaders Charlton.

Jordan Cook, who has been pushing for a start since his supersub double-strike at MK Dons on March 27, is a strong candidate to come into the side against the Addicks.

Paddy Madden is also waiting in the wings, with Andy Welsh also available among Abbott’s attacking options.

The Blues boss could also opt for a tactical change against Chris Powell’s leaders, with no obvious target-man in the squad to take Miller’s place in Abbott’s preferred 4-3-3 system.

The double injury blow depletes Carlisle’s numbers at a crucial stage of the season but there seems no immediate prospect of Abbott recalling striker Craig Curran from his loan at Morecambe.

The ex-Tranmere man joined the Shrimps on March 22 in a deal to the end of the season.

It is common for such deals to contain a recall clause which cannot be activated in the first 28 days.

So the Blues could, in theory, summon Curran back next Thursday but there are no indications from Brunton Park that Abbott will do so.

But Cook’s situation may force his hand, with the Sunderland man’s 93-day loan up before the last game of the season at Oldham, with no prospect of it being extended.

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