BURY'S squad could be stretched to the limit for Saturday's televised clash at Peterborough with up to seven first-team players unavailable for selection.

Manager David Flitcroft has revealed right-back Craig Jones suffered a torn thigh muscle in last week's victory at MK Dons and will be out for at least six weeks.

Jones joins fellow defender Nathan Cameron on the the long-term injury list, while centre-back Leon Barnett has not played since September 10 but is understood to be edging closer to a comeback.

Central midfielders Jacob Mellis and Tom Soares are both suspended for Saturday's match having both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season in Saturday's 2-1 defeat at home to Scunthorpe.

The Bury boss is also sweating on the fitness of winger Danny Mayor and striker James Vaughan, who are struggling to recover from respective ankle and knee injuries.

Flitcroft says he is unsure if they will be fit for the Posh showdown, which kicks off at noon live on Sky Sports.

“We don't know if we will have players back,” Flitcroft said. “Thursday is a big day for us. Danny Mayor has tried (a fitness test) earlier in the week and not come through. Vaughan is recovering probably slower than we thought.

“With the injuries we have got it's one step forward and two steps back. I'm disappointed.

“We have got Leon Barnett, Danny Mayor and Vaughan that can come back into this squad, but it's just a matter of when.

“Craig Jones is a bad one. He has torn his thigh. It is six to eight weeks at a minimum.

"With Jones it is about somehow trying to slow him down. He is so honest, so fully committed.”

Meanwhile, Flitcroft and Vaughan have been nominated for League One's manager and player of the month awards for September.

The winners will be announced tomorrow morning and Flitcroft says if he picks up the award it will be thanks to his backroom staff.

“There are a lot of people behind the scenes that work ridiculously hard for this football club,” Flitcroft said.

“It's a nomination for the football club because it's really important we all stand together and stay together and we support each other.

“It's a manager's award but it should be a club award because some people do some unbelievable things behind the scenes to make us a success on the pitch.”