Price hopeful for debut on Wednesday

A LACK of proper equipment may have contributed to the injury which forced Lewis Price to miss out on making his Wales debut against Northern Ireland.Price hurt his hip after continually landing on it during training without wearing padded shorts that he uses while with Ipswich.

By Derek Davis

A LACK of proper equipment may have contributed to the injury which forced Lewis Price to miss out on making his Wales debut against Northern Ireland.

Price hurt his hip after continually landing on it during training without wearing padded shorts that he uses while with Ipswich.

Price's hip injury could mean Shane Supple being left out of tonight's Blues reserve side that entertains Southampton at Portman Road.


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Price missed the chance to make his full Wales debut as they ended their run of World Cup qualifiers without a win by beating Northern Ireland 3-2 in a thriller at Windsor Park.

Despite a pain-killing injection, Price was judged not to be fit enough to make his senior bow, a month after losing the chance to debut for Wales against Slovenia, also through injury.

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Price is hoping he will be available to win his first full cap when Wales take on Azerbaijan at the Millennium Stadium on Wednesday, but more importantly for Ipswich, be fit enough to travel to Reading on Sunday for their Championship clash.

Blues physiotherapist Dave Williams is confident Price will recover with rest and if he can use some pads before Wednesday's game.

He said: “It's not a serious injury. The hip is sore and it's a problem that he has suffered with once or twice before. It comes from the continual diving and landing on the joint that he does as a keeper.

“When he is training at the club he wears specially padded shorts that help protect him. He has not had them while he has been away with Wales and that could be one of the reasons why it has flared up.”

Supple is on stand-by to replace Price this weekend and, without a third keeper ready for senior football, he may miss tonight's second-string game as a precaution against getting injured.

Nicky Forster is expected to play tonight after scoring on his comeback against Crewe and, even though he played for the reserves at Crystal Palace last week, would benefit from another run out before going to his old club Reading.

A sprinkling of Saturday's successful Under-18s side that beat West Ham 5-1 will be in contention for the squad that will be chosen this morning.

Skipper Liam Craig scored twice in the first half, a penalty to open scoring and then a good finish just before the break.

Craig completed his hat-trick in the second half, while Billy Clarke and Cathal Lordan also weighed in with goals to end the Hammers unbeaten run.

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