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Gilmartin likely to be absent for a month with torn hamstring

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 02, 2013

Goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin

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Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper Rene Gilmartin is set to be kept on the sidelines for "three or four weeks" by a hamstring injury, according to manager John Sheridan.

It opens the way for Jake Cole, who started this season as the club's first-choice shot-stopper, to return to the Pilgrims' starting line-up.

Cole came off the substitutes' bench in the 43rd minute of the 0-0 npower League Two draw with Accrington Stanley at Home Park last weekend to replace the injured Gilmartin.

Sheridan also revealed that on-loan Reading striker Gozie Ugwu was only "50-50" for the visit of Dagenham and Redbridge today because of an ankle injury.

The 19-year-old was hurt in the closing stages of the last training session before the game against Accrington.

Ugwu has yet to play for Argyle after completing a one-month loan move from Reading a fortnight ago. He was denied the chance of making his Pilgrims' debut when the away game at Southend United on January 19 was postponed because of a frozen pitch.

Gilmartin had started 14 matches, up to and including the draw with Accrington, after taking over from Cole between the posts. Sheridan said: "It's a grade one tear, I think, so he's probably going to be out for three or four weeks.

"It gives an opportunity for Jake to come in. He made a great save near the end against Accrington and didn't do himself any harm."

Ollie Chenoweth, 20, will be Argyle's substitute goalkeeper today.

As for Ugwu, Sheridan said: "Gozie is struggling. He trained yesterday but his ankle is still a bit tender so we will just have to assess him."

Ugwu is on loan to Argyle until February 16, so should he be ruled out today he will only be available for two more matches in that period of time. Sheridan said: "There is not a lot you can do about it. He's more gutted than anyone.

"I'm gutted because I was hoping he would come and score goals and do well for us. It's not one of those injuries where he could just get through the pain barrier. He is a bit sore. We will have to look at the situation and what's best – whether he gets treatment or goes back to Reading."

When asked about Ugwu's chances of being fit to face Dagenham, Sheridan replied: "It's 50-50 at the moment. If I was a betting man I would probably say no."

Ugwu is one of four attacking players to be signed for Argyle by Sheridan since he was hired as manager on January 6. Yeovil Town loan signing Reuben Reid is the oldest of the quartet at 24, with Jason Banton and Ronan Murray both 21 and Ugwu the youngest at 19.

Sheridan admitted he had found it difficult to make more experienced recruits for the Pilgrims. He said: "I have looked at players in the 27 to 28 mark, even 30, but they've got families and they don't really want to uproot.

"I understand that, so my mind-set is to go with young, enthusiastic players."

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