Drinan set for months on the sidelines as Woolfenden, Vincent-Young, Skuse and Jackson all still out
- Credit: Picture: Stephen Waller
Striker Aaron Drinan is set for at least two months on the sidelines due to the thigh injury suffered against Wigan last weekend.
The Irishman, who has come in from the cold at the start of this season and earned the right to start as the Blues central striker, was substituted at the break against the Latics and will now be out until at least November.
It’s a cruel blow for a player who was finally getting his Ipswich career started, having waited more than two-and-a-half years for a senior debut following his arrival in January 2018.
His absence now leaves James Norwood and Ollie Hawkins battling for a starting spot when the Blues visit Bristol Rovers tomorrow.
“Aaron’s injury is more severe and he won’t be available,” Lambert said.
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“He’ll be out for a couple of months but that’s maybe what you get for having six months off.
“Nobody expected him to be where he is so it’s a real shame for him, but it’s something we’ll have to deal with. Hopefully he’ll be back sooner rather than later.
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“I can guarantee nobody thought we would be talking about Aaron at this stage of the season but he was terrific in training and convinced me to give him a chance, which he took. These things happen but he’s proven to me he could do something for us.
“He’ll come back into the fold when he’s fit again because he’s shown me he can do it.”
Also missing that trip is Luke Woolfenden, who is still not recovered from a groin problem, while Cole Skuse (knee), Kane Vincent-Young (Achilles) and Kayden Jackson (groin) are also absent once again.
Corrie Ndaba is also likely to miss out as he continues to recover from a dead leg suffered against Arsenal’s Under 21s but Jack Lankester could be involved again having cleared the concussion protocol after suffering a knock to his head in training last Friday.
“It’s been a real hard time for him, with the two back problems and then a slight concussion on the side of his head the other day,” Lambert said of Lankester.
“Jack’s had the time you give for a concussion and the medical checks so we’ll see how he is.”
Lambert was also asked whether he believes the club suffer more than their fare-share of injuries and whether there’s anything that can be done to prevent that.
“No, I wouldn’t got down that route,” the Town boss said.
“I think the whole league has seen a 28% increase in the amount of injuries because of how long we’ve all been off. This isn’t a normal situation.
“I remember when the German league restarted, guys were going down like flies because of how long they were off.
“It’s a dangerous thing we’re going through which is why I don’t get why we have the cup games like the EFL Trophy, it doesn’t make sense to me.”
Saying that, Lambert insisted he’s still disappointed his side were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Fulham this week, even if it avoids a midweek game next Tuesday.
“No, I want to win every game,” Lambert said.
“Football is about winning and trying to have success. We lost a game but played well.”
Lambert also stressed he knows which goalkeeper will start the game in Bristol, on the back of David Cornell’s good display against Fulham on Wednesday.
“I know who’s starting so there’s no problem there,” Lambert said.
“Dai (Cornell) played really well but Tomas has been playing really well too and hasn’t conceded a goal.
“I’m really happy with the two of them.”