By Kurt Bigg
James Rowe’s Chesterfield side have gone from strength to strength and find themselves in the National League play-off places with just a month left of the season.
The Spireites have signed 17 players since Rowe took charge five months ago but, like many other teams, they have had players out due to knocks and slight injuries.
And there are currently five key players that occupy the treatment table at the Technique Stadium who could miss the all-important end of season run-in.
The flying Dutchman has won the hearts of many supporters of the Blues since he followed Rowe from Gloucester City in November.
Asante has been praised for his pace, power and finishing ability and has scored 18 goals this season in all competitions – including ten for Chesterfield.
The forward had gone through a spell of eight games without a goal by the time he was forced off in the second half of the game with Boreham Wood on April 13 with an innocuous injury.
However, Asante needed a scan on his knee and Rowe revealed after the fixture against Bromley that the 28-year-old is out for nine months with a ruptured ACL.
The former Birmingham City striker is looking at a spell out on the sidelines until January 2022 and will miss the majority of next season.
The six-foot-seven centre-forward is the Spireites’ second top goalscorer with nine goals in 15 games this season.
Denton was one of the most in-form players in the league heading into the away game at Sutton United in December.
Unfortunately for the striker, his knees struggled with the artificial pitch and his playing time was restricted for the proceeding batch of games.
However, he wasn’t anywhere to be found on the team sheet by the end of January and Rowe revealed that the 31-year-old needed surgery.
Originally, Denton was supposed to be on the sidelines for about 10 weeks – returning in April. With only a month left of the season to go, it is very unlikely that Chesterfield’s number 24 will set foot on a pitch until August.
Going back to last April, many Spireite fans were not sure whether they wanted Hollis to stay after his contract expired at the end of the 2019-20 season.
However, the defender has been a revelation in the back three since Rowe’s arrival, standing out as one of the league’s best defenders.
His outstanding form earned him a new contract – extending his stay at the Technique Stadium until June 2022.
The centre-back continued his run of stellar performances before he was forced off with an injury in the 1-0 away win at Eastleigh on Good Friday.
Rowe said in a pre-match press conference two weeks ago that Hollis had ruptured his achilles and that “he did not deserve it on his form”. He is likely to miss the start of next season.
The re-signing of McCourt in early December was met with mixed opinions from Chesterfield fans – mostly based on his previous spell in North Derbyshire.
However, like many other players in the squad, he has risen to the occasion and put in a run of consistent performances.
The midfielder hasn’t been in the squad since the 1-0 loss at home to Sutton United in March, after picking up an injury in training.
The Spireites have signed Manny Oyeleke since to recreate a similar presence that McCourt would provide the team.
Initially, the 25-year-old was supposed to miss two weeks of action, but has suffered a setback and might miss the bulk of the remaining fixtures.
Curtis Weston has been very consistent in the Chesterfield midfield for the past couple of years now, completely turning around fans’ opinion.
He has only missed one game so far this season – the 2-0 loss away at Maidenhead United in March.
However, he went down holding the back of his leg against Bromley whilst the score was still 1-1 at the time.
Rowe has confirmed that the midfielder has a “sore achilles” and might be fine to play against FC Halifax Town on Tuesday.
If the 34-year-old aggravates his injury though, it could put a real dampener on the Spireites push for a play-off place in the National League.