Liam’s games on the trot might end

THE curse of the Ipswich Town loanee has struck again. First it was Kevin Lisbie; then Alex Bruce; followed by Jon Stead; and now it’s Liam Trotter!

THE curse of the Ipswich Town loanee has struck again.

First it was Kevin Lisbie; then Alex Bruce; followed by Jon Stead; and now it’s Liam Trotter!

Town boss Roy Keane has been following the progress of all eight of his loan players, who have been farmed out to all corners of the country.

The hope is always that these departed will return to Portman Road in razor-sharp fitness, with games galore under their belts.

Most have had seen some regular first team action, but a quartet have now been hit by injury.

Trotter has been the latest to end up on the treatment table. The 21-year-old central midfielder has actually enjoyed a new lease of life at Millwall, since his loan switch in January.

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A product of Town’s Acadamy, Trotter has not missed a game for the Lions, rattling up 18 appearances on the bounce. It all started with an injury-time goal on his debut to secure a 1-1 draw against Southampton.

But Trotter’s unbroken record might be about to come an end, at just the time that the south Londoners need him most.

The cultured midfield man, who has been described as Millwall’s “talisman” in the local south-east London press, has been laid low by the injury curse, a fate that has also dogged Lisbie during his season-long stay at Colchester, defender Bruce for most of his time at Leicester, and Stead’s truncated campaign at Coventry.

Trotter hobbled off at half-time on Tuesday night, nursing a sore hamstring. The Lions were held to a 1-1 draw by Yeovil, which represented a serious dent to their automatic promotion aspirations, and they could have to make do without their Ipswich loanee for tonight’s key game.

Millwall are at Huddersfield, who are Colchester United’s rivals for the sixth and last play-off berth in League One. Trotter is unlikely to figure.

But whereas Trotter has at least revived his career at The Den, Town colleague Bruce has hardly had a kick at Leicester since his arrival at the beginning of February.

The Foxes may have consolidated their position in the Championship play-offs, but Bruce has only had a bit part to play, amounting to a mere 36 minutes on the pitch!

His debut as an injury-time substitute in a vital 2-1 win at Blackpool lasted only a matter of seconds, while his full debut for the Foxes ended after just 35 minutes of the 1-0 success over Cardiff. Bruce suffered a groin injury that required an operation.

However, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Bruce made his long-awaited return as an unused substitute for last weekend’s 2-1 win at Peterborough, and so will be looking to contribute to Leicester’s push for a second successive promotion.

In fact, Foxes manager Nigel Pearson is keen to extend Bruce’s stay from Portman Road beyond the end of the season, to accommodate the play-offs.

Elsewhere, Town loanee striker Stead underwent an operation on a cartilage injury last week, and so will not play for Coventry again this season, while front runner Lisbie has been in and out of the Colchester side due to injuries and a virus.

Meanwhile, Town will move into the top half of the table if they can beat visiting Doncaster Rovers tomorrow. Rovers are currently one place and one point above Roy Keane’s men in 12th spot.

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