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Nolan and Edwards still not ready to return as Lankester faces 'months' out with back problem

PUBLISHED: 09:41 09 August 2019 | UPDATED: 11:02 09 August 2019

Jon Nolan and Gwion Edwards both were absent for all five of Ipswich Town's pre-season games. Picture: ROSS HALLS

Jon Nolan and Gwion Edwards both were absent for all five of Ipswich Town's pre-season games. Picture: ROSS HALLS

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Gwion Edwards and Jon Nolan are getting closer to making their Ipswich Town returns but won't be ready in time for tomorrow's home clash with Sunderland, while Jack Lankester faces 'months' out with a back injury.

Neither Nolan or Edwards featured during pre-season due to the fact they carried injuries over from last season, with Edwards struggling with an on-running groin problem and Nolan dealing with a calf injury.

While both are still working their way back to fitness, Lambert is hoping for them to return soon.

"Gwion Edwards and Jon Nolan are close but they're not quite ready for Saturday," he said.

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"Nolan's done bits with the fitness guys and Gwion has started to train with us, so maybe's he's ahead of where Jon is. But they haven't kicked a ball (in pre-season).

"I don't know, I really don't know. Nolan has done bits with the fitness guys, Gwion has started to train with us now and is maybe a bit ahead of what Jon is. But they haven't kicked a ball.

"We have a lot of games this month so I will change certain things. We need everybody at match speed."

Lambert revealed Jack Lankester still faces several months out as he continues to deal with the effects of a stress fracture in his back.

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"That's going to be a right few months that one," Lambert said. "We just have to let him get over that again. It's going to be a few months."

There's better news on Andre Dozzell, who returns to the squad after missing the victory at Burton with a knee injury, while Lambert is weighing up whether to bring Alan Judge back into the starting line-up.

"Andre's trained this week so he'll be in the squad," the Town boss said.

"Judgey's only played 81 minutes in total during the whole pre-season but he's in the squad.

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"I thought he did really well when he came on last Saturday so we'll see how everything goes today."

On James Wilson, who left his Town debut early with cramp last weekend, Lambert said: "He's fine, James, the only thing is he's not done too much during pre-season but he came in and did really well for us. He's come through it ok.

Lambert also has captain Luke Chambers available again, with the skipper missing the win at Burton through suspension.

Teddy Bishop, Tristan Nydam, Toto Nsiala and Freddie Sears remain sidelined.

On young strikers Ben Morris (knee) and Ben Folami (Achilles), who both suffered long-term injuries at the start of the year, Lambert said: "Those two are doing well, they are alright, but their injuries were terrible - an ACL and an Achilles. You can't do nothing about long-term injuries."

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