Diallo suffers fresh setback

LUCKLESS Drissa Diallo is today nursing four stitches and a headache after his comeback from injury ended prematurely following a faultless 44 minutes, writes Derek Davis.

LUCKLESS Drissa Diallo is today nursing four stitches and a headache after his comeback from injury ended prematurely following a faultless 44 minutes, writes Derek Davis.

The French defender showed no ill effects from a knee operation but admitted the fresh injury will rule out an immediate return to first team action.

Also doubtful for Saturday's trip to Reading is striker Darren Bent, who will miss training again today as he struggles to recover from a swollen ankle picked up during the 3-0 win over Derby, although Town are hopeful he will rejoin the squad tomorrow.

Blues boss Joe Royle last night said: "Darren is 50/50 at best, he has not recovered as quickly as we thought he would."


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Diallo needed attention after an accidental clash of heads with Norwich City winger Dean Sinclair in the behind closed doors game at Portman Road and was substituted at half time.

The injury is likely to rule him out of contention for the game at Reading on Saturday but he is expected to be able to take part in the reserves' game against Wimbledon next week.

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He said: "I will not be able to head the ball for four or five days but I can train with the first team which is good.

"It is a bit of a set back but it is better to have a few stitches over the eye than a knee injury again."

Diallo was playing his first competitive game since injuring the knee in an accidental collision with team-mate Georges Santos against Wimbledon last September which later needed corrective surgery.

It was the worst injury of the former Guinea international's career and Diallo was excited but apprehensive about returning.

He said: "I was a bit scared before the game as it was my first knee injury and every time I got a twinge I was worried what it meant but it was just psychological.

"I felt fine during the game, not tired at all and no reaction to the knee, which is a good sign."

Dean Bowditch and Stuart Boardley gave Town a two-goal lead with a goal apiece eight minutes into each half.

But City hit back with four goals in five minutes to run out 4-2 winners.

Sinclair scored twice, Mark Rivers and Danny Crow netting the others.

The result came as a shock to Diallo, who watched as Town cruised towards the midway point of the second half.

He said: "I was happy to be playing and it went well in the first half. I saw the game until it was 2-0 but when I came out from seeing the doctor we had lost."

Bent is the only doubt from the squad which beat Derby last Saturday as the Town medical staff enjoy a relatively quiet time.

Chris Makin continues to improve after an operation to cure a hip problem. He will move from the treatment table to fitness coach Simon Thadani's care in the next couple of weeks.

Meanwhile, the outstanding defensive prospect Gerard Nash goes under the knife on Friday in a bid to cure a knee problem.

The Dubliner is staying upbeat and last night said: "I can't wait for the problem to be sorted and back playing again."

Finally, Martijn Reuser's hopes of having the winning goal against West Ham credited to him have been dashed by a Football League adjudication panel who last night confirmed the goal will stay credited to Pablo Counago.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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