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Griffiths strives to regain fitness as Chadwick benefits from talk time

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: November 20, 2012

Plymouth Argyle's Rhys Griffiths (right) has seen his career with the Pilgrims interrupted by niggling injuries and he will be absent at Bradford City tonight picture: Dave Rowntree/Pinnacle

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Rhys Griffiths continues to see the start of his career at Plymouth Argyle plagued by a series of injuries.

Griffiths was ruled out of the 3-0 npower League Two defeat at Fleetwood Town last Saturday by a hamstring strain which he suffered in the 2-2 draw with Gillingham at Home Park the previous weekend.

The 32-year-old former firefighter, who made the step up to full-time professional football from the Welsh Premier League last summer, will also be an absentee when the Pilgrims play Bradford City at Valley Parade tonight.

Griffiths, who did not travel to the north of England with the rest of the Argyle squad for their back-to-back away games, suffered a calf injury on the eve of the season. That forced him to sit out the first five competitive matches of the campaign, but he scored on his Plymouth debut – as a substitute – in the 3-2 win against Northampton Town at Home Park on September 1.

Since then, he has been in and out of the team because of injury problems, and it has restricted him to four starts and five appearances off the bench for the Pilgrims, whose manager Carl Fletcher said: "It never seems to be anything long-term, just a couple of weeks here and there.

"He's here on a one-year contract and he wants to be involved in as many games as possible, and we want him to be involved in as many games as possible."

Fletcher admitted Argyle had amended Griffiths' training schedule to try to help him steer clear of injuries. The Home Park boss said: "For part of the week he does his own stuff and then he joins in with the rest of the squad."

Nick Chadwick replaced Griffiths in the second half against Gillingham and made his first start for Argyle in nearly three months at Fleetwood. Fletcher revealed the former Everton striker's return to first-team duty had followed "a heart-to-heart chat" between the pair.

Chadwick started the first three fixtures of this season, but then fell out of favour with the Pilgrims' boss and had a spell when he did not make the match-day squad.

Fletcher explained: "I spoke to him and mentioned a couple of things I wasn't happy with. He was left out of the squad for a few weeks. Since we had that heart-to-heart chat, he has shown the same hunger and desire that he had when he first came back to the club last season.

"He's a big personality in the changing room and has worked really hard in training. He deserved his chance to play on Saturday and I thought he did well," Fletcher added.

The loan spell at Argyle of Peterborough United left-back Scott Griffiths ends after the game against Bradford.

Griffiths signed for the Pilgrims on October 9, and made his debut later that day in a 2-1 home win against Aldershot Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. He has started six matches for Argyle in total, but has been an unused substitute for the last three.

Fletcher said: "Scott has fitted in well with the lads. He hasn't played the last few games but he always gives 100 per cent, whether it's in training or in matches.

"He's a very likeable character and we were really lucky to get him here."

Argyle captain and centre-back Darren Purse will not be with the Pilgrims tonight. He has to serve a three-match ban following his red card for serious foul play at Fleetwood.

Purse and the rest of the Argyle squad travelled from Fleetwood to a hotel near Shipley, West Yorkshire, on Saturday night. He found out after arriving at the hotel that one of his grandparents had died, and Fletcher allowed him to leave the squad to be reunited with his family. "These things put everything into perspective," the Pilgrims' boss said. "We sent him home so he could make sure everything was sorted out at that end."

Plymouth Argyle (from): Gilmartin, Cole; Berry, Blanchard, Nelson, Bhasera, S Griffiths, Lowry, Hourihane, Lennox, Young, Gurrieri, Cowan-Hall, Feeney, Madjo, MacDonald, Chadwick, Lecointe, Richards, Sims, Copp.

Unavailable: Purse (suspended), Wotton (back), Williams (stomach muscle), R Griffiths (hamstring).

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