Kuqi raring to return

AS many defences have found out this season, stopping Shefki Kuqi is not easy, writes Derek Davis.Now the Ipswich Town staff are trying to rein in the big 15-goal striker, who is determined to be fit in time for the Wigan clash next week.

AS many defences have found out this season, stopping Shefki Kuqi is not easy, writes Derek Davis.

Now the Ipswich Town staff are trying to rein in the big 15-goal striker, who is determined to be fit in time for the Wigan clash next week.

In fact, if Kuqi had his way, he would have been lining up against Watford on Tuesday and is pushing to play against QPR on Saturday - although that will not happen.

The Finland striker, who suffered a gash to his leg and a split muscle when Dion Dublin raked the inside of his knee with his studs, has already resumed training.


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A specialist had warned Kuqi that he could be out for up to six weeks and it was not thought he would be back for at least a month.

But Kuqi is aiming to play at Wigan next week, especially now that James Scowcroft will miss that game through suspension, after picking up his fourth and fifth bookings of the season in his two games back at Ipswich.

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Kuqi said: “I feel good and the wound is healing over nicely. It is only a small hole and you don't really know how the actual muscle is healing.

“If I had my way, I would play against QPR but I don't suppose they will let me. If not I aim to be back sooner rather than later.”

Blues boss Joe Royle is taking a firm line with his ace striker and won't take any unnecessary risks.

While Kuqi is training under strict supervision with fitness coach Simon Thadani, they must ensure the internal stitches are allowed to do their job in healing the muscle before dissolving.

Royle said: “Shefki has got to abide by medical advice. The last thing we want is to do something daft and lose him for twice as long as we would have.

“He is desperate to play, which is a good thing, but he won't be available for the QPR game, although we may get him back sooner than originally thought.”

Fabian Wilnis has received treatment for a groin strain, which he picked up in the first half of the Watford defeat, but is expected to be fit for Saturday.

Town will be looking to maintain their record this season of having never lost two games in succession.

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