Late injury rules Duguid out of game

COLCHESTER United skipper Karl Duguid was on course to play against West Brom tomorrow, until he aggravated his ankle injury in training yesterday.U's stalwart Duguid was stretchered off during the last game at Stoke City, almost two weeks ago, but he was hoping to not miss any games due to last weekend's break for internationals.

By Carl Marston

COLCHESTER United skipper Karl Duguid was on course to play against West Brom tomorrow, until he aggravated his ankle injury in training yesterday.

U's stalwart Duguid was stretchered off during the last game at Stoke City, almost two weeks ago, but he was hoping to not miss any games due to last weekend's break for internationals.

The 29-year-old allowed the swelling to subside last week, before returning to training this week. And it was looking good for the visit of the high-flying Baggies, until he turned the ankle during the final few minutes of yesterday's training session.


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“We'll have to see how the ankle reacts over the next 24 hours. I've basically iced it and strapped it up,” revealed Duguid last night.

“It's frustrating, because I was back in training and feeling good. I was running and turning with the physio (Tony Flynn) on Monday, and even joined in a five-a-side game, and I then did the full training session on Tuesday.

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“I rested it on Wednesday, and got through a hard session today (Thursday). We did some shooting practise at the end, and it's then that I turned the ankle.

“It's not back to square one, and hopefully it's just a minor setback, though I suppose I must now be doubtful for this weekend's game,” added Duguid.

The U's have three tough games in an eight-day period, beginning with the visit of third-placed West Brom tomorrow, followed by trips to Ipswich next Tuesday and Coventry next Saturday.

Duguid believes that this period is vital for the club - they are currently 17th in the Championship table.

“It's a big week coming up for us, and obviously I'd love to play at Ipswich on Tuesday,” continued Duguid.

He scored the winner in the 1-0 victory over Town at Layer Road, and also scored the opener in the 3-2 defeat at Portman Road in January.

Duguid added: “Home and away, I was very impressed with West Brom last season. I thought that they were the best team that we played, and they were unlucky not to be promoted.

“They are one of the top sides again this season, and I want to play, but I can't rush back if the ankle is still weak.”

Hungarian international Bela Balogh replaced Duguid during the 2-1 defeat at Stoke. More noted as a centre-half, Balogh made his U's debut as a substitute at right-back.

He has since played for Hungary in their 2-0 win over Malta in last Saturday's European Championship qualifier, although he was rested for his country's 1-0 win at Poland in Wednesday's friendly fixture.

Midfielder Kevin Watson emerged unscathed from 75 minutes' action for the U's Reserves in the 3-3 draw at Luton on Tuesday afternoon, although this weekend might come a little too soon for the 33-year-old lynchpin.

Striker Teddy Sheringham (hamstring injury) and winger Kevin McLeod (recent flu bug) are also pushing for a return to the squad.

Meanwhile, West Brom danger-man Kevin Phillips has declared himself fit to play against the U's tomorrow, having missed the previous two games with an ankle injury. Phillips is the Baggies leading marksman with six goals from seven appearances.

Baggies boss Tony Mowbray revealed: “Kevin (Phillips) has trained without any problems and seems fine. He's available for selection and it's good news that he is fit.”

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