Watford look poised to be without Jose Manuel Jurado and Craig Cathcart against Leicester City through injury while Tommie Hoban is making slow progress from a recurrence of the problem in his hip and groin area.
Cathcart was only fit enough to be named on the bench at Old Trafford on Wednesday and, according to Quique Sanchez Flores, “is probably not ready” to face the all-action, high pressing Foxes tomorrow. Jurado is still no nearer to returning to the training field and will miss a fifth game in a row.
“I was expecting a short time [for Jurado to be out],” said the head coach. “He received a kick in the calf against Chelsea. The calf is a very strange area. We need to wait a little bit more.”
Hoban is providing greater concern. The 22-year-old has not played a competitive first-team game since the crucial Championship win over Birmingham City in April and appears to have suffered a reaction to the scheduled 45-minute run out he got against Boreham Wood in the Herts Senior Cup at the end of January.
“I hope he is coming back soon as I believe a lot in this player,” said Sanchez Flores. “It is the same [injury], it is not working.”
Hoban had surgery on the problem in October, two years after a complex operation to cure a career-threatening ankle problem. Birmingham City are one of the clubs monitoring his fitness ahead of the emergency loan window closing on March 24.
Injuries to Cathcart, Hoban and Joel Ekstrand have left Miguel Britos and Sebastian Prodl as the only fit senior centre-halves – and they showed they can play together after all following a nightmare display at St Mary’s.
“Prodl came in and was out of the team for a long time,” said Sanchez Flores. “The condition of the team against Southampton was really bad, it was the worse of the season. Prodl looked very good against United and so did the rest of the team. It doesn’t depend on one player.”