Skuse absent again as injury keeps him out of Derby clash

Cole Skuse is set to miss Saturday's visit of Derby. Photo: Pagepix

Cole Skuse is set to miss Saturday's visit of Derby. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town will once again be without influential midfielder Cole Skuse when they face Derby at Portman Road tomorrow.

Skuse suffered an ankle injury which forced him off during Town’s 2-0 victory over Reading on December 16 and is still not ready to return, having missed the Blues’ last two games.

With Teddy Bishop (hamstring) now joining Emyr Huws and Andre Dozzell (both knee) in being out for the season, McCarthy still has limited midfield options for the visit of the Rams, with none of Tom Adeyemi, Luke Hyam or Tristan Nydam yet being ready to feature. Flynn Downes has returned to training, though, following a calf problem.

“Skusey’s not right, I think he was hell-bent on going out there and trying this morning but I said to Matt (Byard) ‘I would prefer him for the rest of the games’,” McCarthy said.

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“He tried it for Boxing Day and it didn’t work. You always end up hurting it a little more so let’s make sure it’s absolutely right and, if that’s Tuesday’s game at Fulham, then let’s make sure that’s the case.

“Then we have him for the rest of the season because he’s been an ever-present, pretty much.”

On youngsters Downes and Nydam, McCarthy said: “Flynn trained today, that’s the first time in a long while, a good few weeks, and Tristan I think is going to train on Sunday so at least they are coming back into the squad.

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Tom Adeyemi has not played since the October defeat by Norwich due to a hamstring injury, with no return date scheduled as of yet.

McCarthy said: “Tom’s still in the physio room, is still having treatment, and he’s not yet been on the pitch. He’s still with the physio.”

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Hyam, though could return to match action when the Blues Under 23s return to action in January.

“He’s back training and looks great, I’m delighted to see him out there with a smile on his face,” McCarthy said.

“I haven’t spoken to him or the physios, but he’s trained, so whenever the next Under 23 game is I think he should play in it.”

Kevin Bru is likely to partner Callum Connolly in the middle of midfield against the Rams, with Irishman Adam McDonnell another option. The youngster has impressed McCarthy after returning from a loan spell at Aldershot.

McCarthy said: “Physically he looks really fit, you will be, playing at that level, because they are really tough games.

“With the ball he is confident and his composure on the ball has improved.”