Chopra laid low

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Barnsley's final games of the season are likely to be disrupted by an outbreak of mumps at Oakwell.

Loan star Michael Chopra has been struck down with the disease and has been told to stay away from the club for at least ten days.

Chopra was taken ill over the weekend and tests carried out on Monday confirmed the Newcastle striker had contracted mumps.

Doctors have told Chopra to stay away from the club until the back end of next week and manager Andy Ritchie is crossing his fingers that no other first team players are struck down.

"Michael definitely has mumps and the doctor has told him to stay away from the club until a week on Thursday at least," Ritchie told the club's website. "We will have to see how he is after then and how much longer he will be out. Hopefully the rest will work."

With an incubation period of a week, there is the chance that other players may have contracted the disease.

"The problem is that during the last week the virus was incubating and he was contagious so we will have to keep our fingers crossed that no more of the squad come down with it," added Ritchie.

The Tykes are safely in mid-table with three games to play, but their 17-goal star will miss the clashes with Port Vale and Colchester but could be back for the final game against Blackpool.