Injury latest: Fresh set-back for Vincent-Young
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town right-back Kane Vincent-Young has suffered a fresh injury set-back.
That news was revealed by Blues first team coach Matt Gill at this morning's press conference ahead of tomorrow's League One home clash with Blackpool.
Ipswich signed 18-year-old right-back Luke Matheson on loan from Wolves on Monday, just hours before the transfer window shut.
Vincent-Young hasn't played in a competitive game for Town since undergoing hernia and adductor surgery back in November 2019. He's had several set-backs during his rehabilitation this season, a nagging Achilles problem followed by a calf problem, with the latest set-back a knee injury.
“I’m really gutted for Kane," said Gill. "He’s had a little setback in returning to play. It’s his knee, an injury that is separate to his last one. Sometimes when you’ve been out a while you pick up these secondary injuries.
“I’m so disappointed for Kane because he’s worked so hard to be back in amongst it to help the squad and the team.
“He’s obviously a very good player, but he’s also a really great lad. Knowing the lad he’ll put it behind him and get on with his rehab and try and get back as quick as possible.
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“Currently we’re looking at a few weeks. We’ll take it from there. It takes a few weeks to get up to speed once you’re back out on the grass."
Asked if Matheson's arrival might see captain Luke Chambers move back inside to his preferred position of centre-back, Gill said: “I just think it gives us variations of who can play and options for who can play across that back four."
Central defensive duo Toto Nsiala (hamstring) and James Wilson (knee) both remain sidelined.
“It’s a little bit too soon for Toto," said Gill. "He’s back out on the grass with our rehab guys and fitness coaches.
“Willo has trained a couple of days with the group this week, which is great news, but it’s too soon for him also. We have some friendlies next week that he may take part in to get up to speed as quickly as he can."
Town signed attacking midfielder Josh Harrop on loan from Preston on January 20, but the 25-year-old immediately had to go into a 10 day isolation period after testing positive for Covid-19. He started training with the Blues this week.
Asked if the former Manchester United man could make his debut tomorrow, given Teddy Bishop is serving a one match ban following his red card against Crewe, Gill said: “Having seen him this week it may be a little bit soon for him to start. This virus affects everyone differently. He’s reported back well from having his 10 days in isolation, trained well this week, but I would say it’s probably too soon for him to start.
“We’re lucky that we have a few midfielders that can fill in Teddy’s role.
“Josh has looked good though. It was obviously really disappointing that he tested positive, it’s been a slow start to his loan spell, but we’re really pleased to have him back in the group this week.
“He’s a very talented lad and we’re excited to see him show everyone what he can do. I’m sure that’s only a matter of time before he does that."
Striker James Norwood has had a stop-start season with injuries. He stepped off the bench just after the hour mark at Crewe last weekend.
“Obviously we’ve had one steps forwards, two steps back now and again with Nors," said Gill. "He’s trained really well this week. It’s about building up his fitness and strength in those lower limbs. He’s doing really well with that."
Troy Parrott was another deadline day signing this week, the teenage striker arriving on loan from Tottenham.
Blues boss Paul Lambert has stuck rigidly to a 4-3-3 system all season. Is he now considering going with two up front?
“I think that’s certainly an option now," said Gill. "It’s an option we went to Saturday when we got back in the game.
“I just think the more options we’ve got the better."
Ipswich now have a first team squad of 31 players, with only Vincent-Young, Oli Hawkins and Cole Skuse a little way off being able to play.
Winger Keanan Bennetts was due to play in a reserve team game against Brentford B on Wednesday and, with that game having been called off due to a waterlogged pitch, will instead feature for the Under-23s at Watford this afternoon.
“There was a friendly arranged for Wednesday, but the training ground was pretty sodden," said Gill.
“We’ve got maybe one lined up for next week now for some boys to get some minutes in and hopefully get them up to speed as quick as possible.
“Keanan would have been in that game on Wednesday. He’ll get some minutes today in the 23s game. That will be a big boost for the squad to have him back."
On Skuse, who hasn't featured all season after undergoing knee surgery, Gill said: “He’s out on the grass now running. He’s really positive about his knee. He’ll just continue to build up now with the fitness coach. Hopefully we can have him back sooner rather than later. His experience will hopefully be invaluable during the run-in."
Even with Kayden Jackson and Teddy Bishop suspended, and Vincent-Young, Wilson, Nsiala, Skuse, Bennetts and Hawkins not fit, Blues boss Lambert still has 23 bone fide first team players to select from tomorrow. Last weekend, Jon Nolan was a surprise omission from the 18-man squad.
"Nolo is fit and available for selection," said Gill.
"As staff we enjoy having the competition for places. Players are always at it.
“You also have to look at the schedule. Have we got 12 games in the next five and a half weeks? Everybody in that squad is going to be important if we’re going to have a strong second half of the season."