Lambert on Ward, Hawkins, Judge and Vincent-Young injuries and chances of Bennetts of Lankester starting games

PUBLISHED: 11:01 23 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:35 23 October 2020

Keanan Bennetts could make his full Ipswich Town debut at Lincoln City. Photo: Pagepix Ltd

Keanan Bennetts could make his full Ipswich Town debut at Lincoln City. Photo: Pagepix Ltd

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Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has issued injury updates on a string of players ahead of this weekend’s visit to Lincoln City.

Stephen Ward is strill struggling with an Achilles injury. Photo: Steve WallerStephen Ward is strill struggling with an Achilles injury. Photo: Steve Waller

The Town manager is again waiting on the fitness of veteran left-back Stephen Ward, who hasn’t played since leaving the game at MK Dons early on October 3 with an Achilles problem, with the Irishman again a doubt this weekend.

“We don’t know yet, we’ll have a look at him and see where he is,” Lambert said. “He’s doing okay at the minute. He’s a big personality, which is great. He’ll know himself when he’s ready, but he’s doing okay at the minute.”

Lambert revealed Alan Judge has been suffering from a hamstring problem this week and could be a late decision ahead of the weekend, with Keanan Bennetts and Jack Lankester possible replacements.

“He finds really good space Judgey, and can make things happen,” Lambert said. “But we need to see how he is this morning, he was feeling his hamstring the other day, so we need to see how he is, we can’t take a risk with him if he feels anything.

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“He’s a really clever footballer, he finds himself into spaces where he can hurt people. Maybe doesn’t have the blistering pace that Keanan has got or anything like that, but he’s an intelligent footballer and I think he’s started the season really well for us.

“Keanan’s really quick,” Lambert continued. “I mean really, really quick and he’s dynamic, so hopefully he’s not too far away from forcing his way in. But he is dynamic, that’s for sure.

“We’ve got to be really careful with Jack because two stress fractures in your back are two massive injuries for somebody so young.

“He’s had a long time out not playing football, which is a dangerous thing for him. He does well in training, he did well against Gillingham in the cup.

“Football-wise, I think he’s a real, real talent, it’s just watching him and where he’s at. But he’s doing really well at the minute, I’m happy with him.”

Striker Oli Hawkins returned as a substitute at Doncaster on Tuesday night and will be hopeful of a start at Sincil Bank.

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“He’s different to our other strikers, he’s totally different the big lad,” he said. “He’s really good with his feet, I don’t think anybody should go away from that, even though he’s a tall lad he is good with his feet, he can play with the ball no problem.

“We’ll see how he came through the game at Doncaster, He trained yesterday (Thursday) so we’ll have a look at him this morning.”

Kane Vincent-Young on the ball at Colchester Picture: RICHARD BLAXHALLKane Vincent-Young on the ball at Colchester Picture: RICHARD BLAXHALL

On Kane Vincent-Young, who has yet to appear this season due to an Achilles problem, Lambert said: “He’s still a few weeks away Kane, he’s not trained with is at all.

“He needs a bit of time on the grass, he’s started doing little things but he’s still a wee bit away from it.”

Striker Kayden is still isolating at home after testing positive for coronavirus, while James Norwood (hamstring), Cole Skuse (knee), Flynn Downes (knee), Aaron Drinan (thigh), Tristan Nydam (ankle) and Ben Morris (knee) are all still out.

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