TEAM NEWS: Anthony Wordsworth cracked three vertebrae in his back on full Ipswich Town debut

Anthony Wordsworth, pictured after cracking three vertebrae in his lower back against Blackpool

Anthony Wordsworth, pictured after cracking three vertebrae in his lower back against Blackpool - Credit: Archant

Ipswich v Watford: ANTHONY Wordsworth is set for a lengthy spell on the sidelines after manager Mick McCarthy revealed that the midfielder cracked three vertebrae in his back during Saturday’s 1-0 home win over Blackpool.

The 24-year-old January signing from Colchester United clashed with keeper Matt Gilks little over half an hour into his full debut for the club. And after trying to play on for five minutes, was eventually taken to hospital.

“He’s not looking very good,” said McCarthy, speaking at this lunchtime’s pre-match press conference ahead of tomorrow night’s visit of Watford.

“He’s cracked three vertebrae in his back. It won’t require surgery, it will heal and be fine, but we’re looking at six weeks before he’s doing anything.

“I said to him before the game that Murph (Daryl Murphy) will drift out there wide left, so you make sure you get in the box. He actually said to me afterwards, ‘I thought I better get in the box or the gaffer will kill me!’ I didn’t, but the keeper did!

“He just got turned by the defender, analysing the video, and he got a knee right in the bottom of his back.

“He put his hand up and it looked like a serious one and then when he went back on I thought he must just have been winded.

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“It’s a shame because we think he’s going to be a good player for us. He’s a talented footballer.”

Asked if supporter were likely to see Wordsworth again this season, McCarthy quipped: “You’ll see him again – he’s not dead! I know it’s a bad injury, but it’s not that bad!

“I don’t know, is the honest answer to that. Nobody at the club has ever seen an injury like that before. Matt Byard (physio) hasn’t seen an injury like it. We’ll have to wait and see how long it takes to heal naturally.

“There will be treatment and rehab so I don’t know how long he’ll be out.”

Meanwhile, the Blues confirmed that Daryl Murphy – who filled in for Wordsworth on the left of midfield following his injury, substitute Michael Chopra going up front – is fine after picking up a late knock at the weekend.

Keeper Scott Loach and winger Lee Martin also come into contention after recovering from a thumb and groin injury respectively.

“Lee’s fine,” said McCarthy. “Loach has trained today and we’ll have to see if he has any ill effects with that thumb. He’s not reported anything though so should be fine.”

– See tomorrow’s EADT and Ipswich Star for full match preview.

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