Injury doubt over Wright's Town future

RICHARD Wright's Ipswich Town career could be in jeopardy following confirmation of his worst fears yesterday.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

RICHARD Wright's Ipswich Town career could be in jeopardy following confirmation of his worst fears yesterday.

Wright is expected to be out of action for four months, after the results from a sequence of scans revealed that he had suffered a partial tear to his cruciate ligament.

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That would mean a return in April, at the earliest, by which time new signing Brian Murphy, who is available from January onwards, should be settled as the first choice keeper, with perhaps another new custodian also on the books.

The experienced Wright damaged his knee in rather strange circumstances at Cardiff City on Sunday - it was an innocuous challenge by Michael Chopra, which was far from threatening, as Town's No. 1 stooped to smother a loose ball on the edge of his box.

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Wright quickly motioned to his dug-out for assistance, and hobbled off the pitch a couple of minutes later.

It was a sad end to what should have been a glorious return to the first team for Ipswich-born Wright, who was back in favour following loanee Asmir Begovic's recall to his parent club Portsmouth last week.

Town boss Roy Keane had dropped Wright, after a number of costly mistakes during the autumn, leaving the former England international to vie for a place on the substitutes' bench with Arran Lee-Barrett.

Ironically Lee-Barrett, who only has a short-term contract until January and was not expected to figure in the first team, is suddenly Town's only fit senior goalkeeper. Youth teamer Ian McLoughlin is next in line.

Ex-Hartlepool keeper Lee-Barrett played the last 65 minutes at Cardiff, and had little chance with Peter Whittingham's first-half strike in Town's 2-1 victory. Second-half goals from Jon Walters and Jon Stead ensured a first away victory of the season for Keane's men.

Town physio Matt Byard confirmed yesterday: “Richard has a partial tear to his cruciate ligament.

“We will manage his recovery time but with this type of injury, we expect him to be out for around four months.”

It is hoped that the injury can be managed without the need for surgery.

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