Fleetwood head coach Uwe Rosler says he will not risk playing Jimmy Ryan so early in the season until he has made a complete recovery.
The midfielder picked up a mystery knock in the 2-2 draw with Charlton 10 days ago and was withdrawn at half-time.
Rosler had hoped Ryan would come back into contention for Saturday’s visit to Rochdale but the Town boss decided it would be too big a risk after the player reported a twinge.
Speaking after the 2-1 defeat at Spotland, Rosler said: “I thought Jimmy was fit but obviously he still felt it a little bit.
“He could have played but it would have been a risk going forward. I was not prepared to take that risk at this stage of the season.”
Ryan’s replacement Victor Nirennold was withdrawn at half-time at Dale along with right-back Conor McLaughlin.
Rosler explained that a need for speed was why Frenchman Nirennold got the nod ahead of midfielders Martyn Woolford and Eggert Jonsson, who impressed when he came off the bench.
The Town boss said: “I think Rochdale have a very energetic midfield. We expected Jamie Allen to play – I don’t know why he did not – and they have a lot of tempo in that midfield.
“Victor had done a job for us before in that position. We needed speed and that is why we went for Victor.”
Rosler says he was surprised by Town’s bad start at Spotland, where they fell behind after 10 minutes, though he saw it coming due to a lack of intensity in the pre-match warm-up.
He said: “I was so surprised that we started the game like we did. I saw it coming a little bit because my coaches told me how the warm-up was.
“I think that when the warm-up is not what it should be, then you do take that into the games and that is what happened.”
Rosler says the players and coaches will sit down to watch the game together this week to see what went wrong in the first half.
He said: “We will watch the first half, seeing and asking why we performed at that level. I was particularly upset about a few things.
“We will sit down and take all of the emotions out of the occasion, and we will analyse the game in a professional manner.
“We coaches will do that and the players will help us.
“I think we have a good month ahead of us, when there will be lots of opportunities.”