Baldwin's derby return after long haul

IT'S been a long haul for Pat Baldwin, but Colchester United's centre-half is set to make only this fourth appearance of the year in a U's shirt this afternoon.

Carl Marston

IT'S been a long haul for Pat Baldwin, but Colchester United's centre-half is set to make only this fourth appearance of the year in a U's shirt this afternoon.

Baldwin will feature for the U's Reserves against a very strong-looking Ipswich Town second string in a Combination fixture (2pm kick-off), the first of its kind to be staged at the new Weston Homes Community Stadium.

The former Chelsea trainee injured his knee in the U's second game of 2008, a 3-1 home defeat by Peterborough in an FA Cup third round tie, and his comeback match three months later ended in yet more injury anguish.


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Baldwin dislocated his shoulder after just five minutes of the thrilling 4-3 defeat at West Brom on March 29, which finished off his season and required an operation. He has spent the last five months recuperating.

“I can't wait to get back out there. This will be my first start, and hopefully my first full 90 minutes since January. I don't really count West Brom as a comeback match,” revealed Baldwin last night.

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“A knee injury against Peterborough, which was more than just a little niggle, put me out of action. I then had to have the shoulder pinned back in after the West Brom game, so 2008 has been a write-off for me so far.

“However, I'm ahead of schedule for my return. The specialist originally said that I would be out for six months. I would have been back even sooner, but for a niggling knee injury, which put me out for another month, but I'm still ahead of target.

“I'm looking forward to this game for the reserves against Ipswich, but I know that I'm still a long way off being fully match fit. That will come in time,” added Baldwin.

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