Europa League - McCall wants good fitness news

Motherwell manager Stuart McCall hopes his team will survive a Europa League injury scare after centre-backs Stephen McManus and Shaun Hutchinson went off injured along with Iain Vigurs during Friday night's 1-1 draw with Nottingham Forest.

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Europa League - McCall wants good fitness news

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Stephen McManus went off early in the second half

McManus walked off gingerly with a hip problem early in the second half of the Fir Park friendly while midfielder Vigurs and Hutchinson followed as precautionary measures. But McCall was not ruling anyone out of Thursday's third qualifying round tie against Russian side Kuban Krasnodar.

"Stephen was just an impact," McCall said. "The boy ran into him and 10 seconds later the ball was shot at him and he was just off balance. I think if it had been a league game he would have carried on. You can't afford to take any chances.

"Hopefully Hutchy just has a bit of cramp in the calf rather than a strain. Again, the ball hit him. Vigurs had a tight groin but we're hopeful all of them will be fine for Thursday."

James McFadden was substituted midway through the second half and went off rather reluctantly as he wanted his first full game of pre-season ahead of the Russian side's visit.

McCall said: "He had 45 (minutes) against Newcastle and only 25 last week. As much as he wanted to stay on, he had 63 minutes there. You can't just go from playing 25 minutes to 90 because there's a chance, when you're tired, that's when your muscles can strain. But he's working towards it so he'll be fine."

Motherwell will have Henri Anier in their squad for the Europa League tie after the Estonian striker agreed a six-month loan from Viking Stavanger. McCall said: "Henri Anier will join us on Monday and if I can manage to get a wide player in, it won't be before Thursday - but I'll be more than happy with what we have got."

While Motherwell are adding to their squad, news came through from Russia that Kuban had lost midfielder Aras Ozbiliz to Spartak Moscow in a big-money move.

"It's good news in one way if it's true," McCall said. "It's bad news because I had done an hour's edit on him and highlighted him as the danger man who was going to rip us apart. But, seriously, if he has definitely gone, it will be good news."

Motherwell recovered from a slow start against the Championship side, who took an early lead through Matt Derbyshire, with Bob McHugh going close on several occasions before firing a late equaliser from 12 yards after good work from substitute Zaine Francis-Angol.

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