Exeter V Rochdale at St James Park - Match Preview

Doherty worry for Grecians

Exeter boss Paul Tisdale could be without influential midfielder Tommy Doherty against Rochdale after the 34-year-old's return to action lasted just 45 minutes.

The former Bradford man was recalled to the starting line-up for the first time in almost a month against local rivals Plymouth but his persistent back injury forced his withdrawal at the interval.

If the Grecians are without Doherty, who was arguably their stand out performer in the first half at Home Park, again it would be a real blow for Tisdale who is already without many of his midfield regulars.

Matt Oakley, (shoulder) Liam Sercombe and Alan Gow (both ankle) will all be missing as the Grecians look to bounce back from defeat to their fiercest rivals on Saturday.

That loss left City five points off the automatic promotion places ahead of the clash with a Dale side they beat 3-2 at Spotland back in December.

Rochdale must prepare for their trip after learning midfielder Andrew Tutte will miss the remainder of the season with a knee problem.

Tutte initially suffered the injury during Dale's 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers earlier this month and, despite an impressive initial recovery, he jarred the knee in training on Thursday.

The resulting cartilage damage has been judged severe enough to require surgery and Tutte will go under the knife on Tuesday.

Elsewhere Terry Gornell (groin) is likely to miss out once more, leaving George Donnelly to continue his recent resurgence in attack.

Ritchie Jones (ankle) will add to Keith Hill's selection concerns if he cannot recover in time, while Rhys Bennett (knee) and Reece Gray (broken leg) are long-term absentees.

Source: PA

Source: PA