The 10 injured Town players aiming for comebacks early in 2021
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
His nine dynamic displays at right-back seem a long time ago now.
The 24-year-old last featured competitively in a 3-1 win at Southend way back on October 26, 2019.
First he had a hernia repair, then further surgery on an adductor tendon. The prognosis then was that he would be back in training after 10-12 weeks.
He returned to action in pre-season, appearing against Colchester and Tottenham, but was soon back in the treatment room with a ‘nagging Achilles problem’.
Finally returned to first team training on December 7. Paul Lambert said Vincent-Young was ‘looking incredible’ at the end of that week, but it’s understood there have been a few little set-backs with his recovery since then.
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Speaking a fortnight ago, Lambert said: “His Achilles heel was good, that’s not a concern, it’s other little factors with the thigh or the hamstring, calves.
“Ideally we would like to get him some game time somewhere, be it in the Under-23s or even just having a game amongst ourselves.”
Was a reliable presence at the heart of the defence during the early stages of the campaign, but then suffered a knee injury in training on November 17.
The last we heard on him was at the end of November, Lambert saying: “It was a slight twist in training and he’s nicked his cartilage and bit. He’s doing okay, it’s settling down, but he’s still struggling with it.”
Town’s standout player of 2019/20 handed in a transfer request after Crystal Palace had a couple of bids rejected in late August.
He was subsequently dropped from the squad for the opening three matches and then started to be reintegrated into the team off the bench.
In his fourth substitute outing, an over-zealous tackle at MK Dons, which seemingly was born out of frustration, saw him suffer a knee injury.
The prognosis then was that he’d be out for two to three months. And we’re now 12 weeks on.
Lambert said recently: “The likes of Flynn (Downes) and (Teddy) Bishop can maybe start training in the Christmas week or the early days of the new year.”
Midfield stalwart suffered what was described as a ‘fluke’ knee injury when slipping in training. He subsequently underwent a ‘little tidy up’ operation in October.
The prognosis was that he’d be out for three months which, like Downes, would put him on course for a return around about now.
After an impressive start to the season, Nolan sat out the 4-1 win at Blackpool with a ‘slight calf problem’.
He returned to the starting XI for the defeats at Doncaster and Lincoln, but then was suspended for three games due to his reckless red card late on at Sincil Bank.
His return to league action lasted just 22 minutes – he limped off with a groin injury.
Rushed back into action just 10 days later, he got through games against Oxford and Plymouth (scoring at the latter), before limping off 33 minutes into the home loss to Portsmouth. It was another calf problem (something which dogged him for a large part of 2019).
Speaking ahead of the recent 2-1 home win against Burton, Lambert said: “Nolo is doing alright but I think this one will be too early for him.”
Twinkle-toed midfielder looked to be finally putting his long-term injury woes behind him when starting all bar one of the opening 12 league games of the season.
He came off with a ‘slight back problem’ at Blackpool in October, but carried on playing and started to churn out quickfire 80-90 minutes outings in November.
Then, in a real act of misfortune, his ankle was trodden on during the 2-1 home win against Shrewsbury on November 21.
Lambert initially said: “It’s funny. I spoke to him the other day and he said it was the best he’s felt in five years. He’s doing alright, but he’s going to be out for a number of weeks.”
More recently, the Blues boss said he hoped Bishop would be back in training by the start of the new year.
Welsh winger started the season in scintillating form, scoring five goals and providing three assists during the opening 11 league games.
Suffered a hamstring injury in training on November 17 though and has subsequently sat out the last nine games across all competitions.
Speaking ahead of the recent 2-1 win against Burton, Lambert simply said: ““Gwion Edwards isn’t ready at all.”
The direct and tricky winger was just starting to find his feet following a season-long switch from German side Borussia Monchengladbach.
He was looking really lively in the opening stages of the 2-1 win against Burton (Dec 15), scoring in the fourth minute, but then was forced off at half-time with a groin injury.
“It’s really, really unfortunate because the more Keanan plays, the better he becomes and he’s definitely explosive,” said Lambert. “I think he’ll be out for a few weeks.”
The 21-year-old had a stop-start few years in Germany, picking up injuries in all four of the pre-seasons he had over there. He revealed recently that ‘when I completed my first 90 minutes in the league for Ipswich it was only the second time I had done that in around two years’.
Experienced front man started the majority of games on the left wing in the early stages of the season, then went off midway through the first half of the 3-0 home loss to Hull (Nov 24) with a hamstring injury.
Speaking prior to the most recent game against Burton, Lambert said: “Freddie has just come back, he started at the tail end of last week and a little bit this week.
“He’s just come back from a really strenuous hamstring problem, so we’ve got to really watch him, that he doesn’t pull up and doesn’t do any more damage. He’s doing okay.”
The striker says he was ‘playing at 50%’ in his debut season at Town due to injuries.
He underwent groin surgery in October 2019. Then, after trying to play through the pain, had adductor surgery in February 2020.
The 30-year-old was being eased back into action this season. And he certainly looked like the player of old when coming on and scoring in the FA Cup defeat to Portsmouth.
Two starts in five days, against Hull and Charlton, proved too much though and he was forced off in the first half of the latter game (Nov 28) with a hamstring injury, sustained when over-stretching by the touchline.
That was a month ago. No timeframe has been put on the goalscorer’s return.