SWANSEA, WALES - AUGUST 03: Celtic forward Gary Hooper (r) challenges Swansea defender Steven Caulker during the pre season friendly between Swansea City and Celtic at Liberty stadium on August 3, 2011 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Swansea have been dealt another defensive blow ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash against West Brom, with Steven Caulker set for a spell on the sidelines after suffering a knee injury.
The 19-year-old on-loan centre-half has started all four of the Swans Premier League games to date but damaged his cartilage after twisting his knee making a brave goal-line clearance in the 1-0 defeat at Arsenal last weekend, and will return to parent club Tottenham for treatment...
Swansea are already without Alan Tate, who recently broke his leg in a golf buggy accident, although captain Garry Monk could be in line for a rapid return after stepping up his return from a foot injury.
Manager Brendan Rodgers, who returned to training today following the death of his father, has also not been helped by the delay in receiving international clearance for deadline day signings Darnel Situ and Rafik Halliche, leaving him short of options at the back.
Kemy Agustien, who had been identified as a possible solution to the defensive shortage, is also out after suffering a hamstring injury against Arsenal, but fellow midfielder Wayne Routledge is back in training after missing out at the Emirates with an ankle problem.
You know when a golf cart injury hits that it's going to be a long season. Swansea have been surprisingly strong defensively - an opening day 0-4 loss to Manchester City notwithstanding. Since then they've kept clean sheets against Wigan and Sunderland and only conceded a fluke goal to Arsenal at the weekend. I've had the mellifluous, Angel Rangel in my team for that stretch and have been very happy with the returns. However, there's a point where it stops bending and starts breaking. I would not expect them to keep a clean sheet against West Brom this weekend. Odemwingie is the master of scoring in matches such as this. To that end, I'm considering dropping Rangel, even at home, to a cheaper defender to spend elsewhere. To Neal's conclusions yesterday, I'm even considering betting on Bolton!