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‘Our suggestion is it’s best for him to stay here under our eyes’ - Hurst on Dozzell loan

PUBLISHED: 15:09 16 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:36 16 August 2018

Andre Dozzell is working his way back from a knee injury.    Picture: Steve Waller

Andre Dozzell is working his way back from a knee injury. Picture: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Paul Hurst would like to keep Andre Dozzell at Ipswich Town rather than sending him out on loan but is anticipating a ‘frustrating period’ as they work to manage the midfielder’s body over the next few months.

Paul Hurst is set to opt against sending Andre Dozzell out on loan.    Picture: Steve WallerPaul Hurst is set to opt against sending Andre Dozzell out on loan. Picture: Steve Waller

Dozzell has yet to make a competitive return to action following the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered on the opening day of last season and has not been involved in either of the last two matchday squads.

A temporary move away from Portman Road has been discussed by Hurst and his staff but, with the 19-year-old’s future very much in mind, the Ipswich boss now believes keeping him under the watchful eye of the club’s medical staff would be best for all involved.

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“With Doz we’re going to have another chat this afternoon and really try and get that situation clear, with Andre as well,” Hurst said.

“Our suggestion is probably that it’s best for him to stay here where he’s under our eyes and can get the attention we feel he requires.

“Andre is desperate to play football and I fully understand that – I’d much rather have someone like that rather than someone who says ‘I’ll just stay here and have the easy life’.

“But he’s got to understand it’s for his long-term future – not September, not October. I’m talking about 2020, 2021 or whatever it is.

“That’s the message we have to stress and continue to stress during what will be a little bit of a frustrating period for him.

Andre Dozzell continues his battle to return to fitness following knee surgery.    Picture: Steve WallerAndre Dozzell continues his battle to return to fitness following knee surgery. Picture: Steve Waller

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“But it’s for him and what’s best for Andre.”

Medical testing has revealed ‘physical deficiencies’ which put the teenager at risk of reoccurring injuries, with Hurst and his team set to keep a close eye on him throughout his battle for fitness.

“We’ve done some testing and it’s highlighted some deficiencies in terms of his physical make-up.

“Unfortunately, that bolsters the chance of injuries reoccurring. That’s not to say it will, but it’s a guide and one the medical team will use and make significant calls on.

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“At the minute those results are not where we would want them to be and we can see the risk attached to that. That’s a big part of the thinking behind it.

“We’ll probably re-test him just to see those results and whether they were taken on a bad day. That’s the thought process behind it.”

An increased use of sports science and the arrival of physio Chris Skitt has been an important feature of Hurst’s first few weeks at Portman Road, with the new boss hopeful their approach can cut down on soft tissue injuries such as hamstring pulls and groin strains.

“If someone lands and does something to his knee then you can’t do anything about that, same as if someone goes into a 50/50 tackle and gets an impact injury,” Hurst said.

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“They’re so difficult to stop and, I daresay, you won’t stop them.

“But the muscular injuries are ones we hope we can make a big improvement on.

“We’re starting to get lads back and hopefully we can keep them back because we are going to need them throughout the course of the season.

“Hopefully we can make strides in that area.”

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