WEEKEND PREVIEW: Orient v Plymouth - Injured stars ready for a return
Jones and Chambers could both be on the bench for O’s
ORIENT manager Russell Slade will be boosted by the return of goalkeeper Jamie Jones and midfielder Adam Chambers for Saturday’s home clash with Plymouth Argyle.
The pair both came through reserve team tests on Tuesday afternoon and are likely to be on the bench for Saturday’s game.
Slade said: “It’s good news for for us as we’re starting to get one or two players back in time for the busy Christmas programme.”
Ben Chorley is also available after a one-game ban and Dean Cox could also be in line for a return.
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He is back in training after missing the last couple of games with a virus.
It’s a crucial Christmas period for the O’s who have back-to-back home games against Plymouth Argyle and then MK Dons on Boxing Day.
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Slade’s side have played three more away games than they have done at home and if they can cash in on those fixtures, it should lift them into the top half of the table.
After suffering just one defeat in their last 12 games in all competitions, the O’s are just six points off a play-off place and while talk of a play-off slot would be premature, Slade acknowledges: “With back-to-back home games to come, it does give us the opportunity of pushing a little bit further up the table.”
The return of key players will give Slade some selection posers during the holiday period.
Keeper Jones, who has missed the last 14 games after undergoing surgery on a hernia problem, has been out of action since the 1-1 draw at Oldham at the start of October.
But he played the full 90 minutes in Tuesday’s reserve team clash against Wycombe.
If he suffers no reaction and is on the bench at the weekend, it could be the last game for on-loan stopper Jason Brown. His inital month-long spell is up after Saturday and if Jones is fit, then O’s are unlikely to extend the deal.
Meanwhile, Chambers played for an hour on Tuesday and set up Orient’s equaliser for Moses Odubajo in the 1-1 draw with Wycombe. The 30-year-old midfielder has been out of action for eight games after undergoing an operation to release pressure on his calf muscles.
“Both Adam and Jamie could be in the 18-strong squad for Saturday,” said Slade.
“It’s too early to say whether ‘Coxie’ (Dean Cox) will be ready. The virus has left him really weak. But he may be okay.”