Barnsley Suffer Injury Blow Ahead Of Play-Off Push

Barnsley will be missing defender Donovan Pines for the remainder of the season after requiring surgery to treat an injury.

The American international signed for the Oakwell side in February on a free transfer following his release from DC United in December 2023.

Pines played four matches since joining the club, playing the full ninety minutes in the last three against Derby County, Wycombe Wanderers and Bolton Wanderers.

The Barnsley Chronicle reported that the 26-year-old will be out of action until July according to Tykes boss Neill Collins.

A thigh problem which requires surgery means that Pines has been ruled out of any potential play-off matches should Barnsley remain in the top six.

Speaking to the media ahead of their match at home to Cambridge United, the Scottish manager said: “It’s very disappointing. The club took really extensive medical advice from a number of people and it was categorical that this was the best route to get him back to his best.

“It’s nothing majorly serious. We’re disappointed for Donovan and the team, but as always it’s an opportunity for someone else.”

You always feel the victim. We sign someone who we think will be really important, then he picks up an injury. It’s football. It happens across the board.”

The centre-back scored two goals for the Yorkshire club, both with his right foot from set pieces against Wycombe and Bolton.

Collins also brought more positive news, confirming that fellow defender Robbie Cundy will be available ahead of the clash against Cambridge.

The number 24, who has missed a year of first-team football through hip and glute injuries, has been involved in under-21 matches for Barnsley in recent weeks including a 3-1 win over Crawley Town.

He last featured for the club in a 4-4 draw with MK Dons in April 2023 in his debut season after signing from Bristol City the previous summer.

The Tykes boss added: “I didn’t have any expectations with Robbie. He didn’t train or play for most of my time here. But he’s really caught my eye with his composure, and his ability to win aerial duels. He’s someone I think will have a role to play. How big or small will depend on a number of factors, but at least he’s in there with a chance.”

Barnsley currently place fifth in the League One table and are seven points behind the automatic places, occupied by Portsmouth and Derby County.

Writer’s View

It is bad luck to lose a player for the remainder of the season, and Barnsley might miss having Donovan Pines after showing some glimpses of brilliance for the club. As Collins pointed out in his press conference, the hefty workload of two or three games a week is something the American is not quite used to just yet and still needs time to adjust.

However, the return of Robbie Cundy will immediately fill the void left by Pines. He played 31 games last season for the club and will be eager to return to full action with Cambridge United looking like a prime opportunity to get back into the first team. The U’s have scored two goals in their previous seven outings and Barnsley will look to claim their third clean sheet of 2024 tomorrow.

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About Lewis Gray 106 Articles
Third-year Journalism Student at Salford University. Writing mainly about League Two.

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