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Doc in boost to Wolves for Bratislava tie – but news not so good on MGW

Wolves have been boosted by the return of Matt Doherty for Thursday’s Europa League clash against Slovan Bratislava.

The Ireland international came off with a recurrence of his knee problem in Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Arsenal but has recovered to be ready for the Group K tie at Molineux. Defender Ryan Bennett is also expected to be available after his groin problem.

Head coach Nuno Espirito Santo said: “Matt is OK. He’s recovered well from a knock on his knee. He did struggle, but he’s recovered well and he’s OK.”

But the news is less encouraging on midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White. The England Under-21 international has missed the last three games with a lower back problem, although he was an unused substitute at the Emirates Stadium, and didn’t train outside with the players on Wednesday.

Morgan is struggling with the same lower back problem – pain – so we decided to keep him inside today to offload it a little bit, but let’s see for tomorrow,” said Nuno.

The game will be Wolves’ 23rd this season, which is virtually double that of some of their Premier League rivals not involved in Europe, and they have one of the smallest squads in the top flight.

Already this season Wolves have suffered more casualties than they did in the whole of last campaign, with Willy Boly and Meritan Shabani out for several months with serious injuries, while Doherty, Ryan Bennett, Diogo Jota and Bruno Jordao have been sidelined at various times.

Nuno admits the process of keeping players not just available but match-ready is a tricky one.

We are trying to do a good job in terms of recovering the players, knowing when you compete, injuries can happen,” he said.

What we try to do is manage and prevent them before in a very detailed way and then afterwards, taking care of them and give them some time to recover.

If we decide not to go on the pitch, it doesn’t matter that he’s not an option, it’s our decision, a medical department decision to see what’s better for the player.”