PAUL Tisdale says the injury which forced Liam Sercombe to come off just minutes after entering the fray against AFC Wimbledon on Saturday is not as bad as first feared.
The news goes some way to allaying serious concerns over the 23-year-old midfield dynamo, who has enjoyed a stellar start to the season.
Tisdale went so far as to say that the Exeter-born City youth product is 50/50 to feature in the clash against the Shrimps at the Globe Arena.
Sercombe missed the second half of last season with a broken ankle, and Tisdale says his forced withdrawal against the Dons was his body reacting against the intensive playing schedule of recent weeks after such a long lay-off.
"We do not think it is too bad fortunately. Liam has had a magnificent start to the season and has probably been our best player," said Tisdale.
"He has been out for six months or more – his last game was December – and he has gone off like a house on fire.
"I suppose his body has just reacted to that and he is very fatigued. On Saturday, we were trying not to take too many risks and restrict him to just half a game.
"It proved that even that was too much for him so somehow we got it a little bit wrong on Saturday, bringing him on and then back off.
"I don't think it is too bad though – he is just suffering for his very energetic start to the season off the back of not playing for a long time."
Discussing the setback in more detail, Tisdale revealed it was not a specific injury as such, but more of a general reaction to his recent exertions.
"In layman's terms it is really multiple cramp really – his body is just so fatigued it locked down on him," he said.
"We are hoping it is nothing specific and we are hoping he will be back for the weekend. I would say it is 50/50.
"We are hopeful it will not be too long – his body has just gone into a form of lockdown really.
"It is not too bad and we are just using a bit of caution around him."
Other news on the injury front revolves around Scot Bennett and Jordan Moore-Taylor, with the manager optimistic both would be able to feature.
Both players sustained knee injuries in the 0-0 draw at Mansfield Town, with Saturday's 2-0 win over Wimbledon coming too soon for them.
Bennett could well replace Sercombe in the middle of the park, with the latter taking a place among the substitutes as Tisdale errs on the side of caution with his return.
Moore-Taylor could join him there, with Tisdale speculating that Saturday may just come too soon for the youngster.
Turning his attention to the Grecians' superb start to the league season – which sees them undefeated and sitting fourth in the table – Tisdale admitted to being pleased with what he had seen from his side so far.
But he warned that, as well as being too early to read too much into the league standings, his side haven't settled just yet.
"We are confident after the three games so far but certainly not complacent," he said.
"It is still early though and I do not think the team has settled into a pattern yet.
"We just have to assume Morecambe will be a tricky game for us and take it from there.
"Some teams settle into a stride quicker than others – there is not a set amount of time it takes for a side to find that pattern.
"The first few weeks of the season are very much a settling in process. You will see a pattern develop then and hopefully we will be in the top third – that is the target for us this season.
"I think you'll find the teams that are going to be a force will be seen after the first 10 games or so."
Predicted line-up: Krysiak, Dawson, Baldwin, Coles, Woodman, Bennett, Oakley, Davies, Wheeler, O'Flynn, Parkin