Sam determined to finish top scorer

SAM Parkin is still determined to end the season as Ipswich Town's leading scorer, despite a setback in his recovery from a broken ankle.He had set his heart on a playing comeback in last night's reserve fixture between Town and Coventry at Portman Road.

By Elvin King

SAM Parkin is still determined to end the season as Ipswich Town's leading scorer, despite a setback in his recovery from a broken ankle.

He had set his heart on a playing comeback in last night's reserve fixture between Town and Coventry at Portman Road. But the 24-year-old striker suffered a reaction in training and has spent the past 10 days resting. He saw a specialist this week.

Parkin, who still hopes to be back in first team action next month, is joint top marksman with Jimmy Juan on five goals, despite being out of action since suffering his injury against Reading at Portman Road on November 22.


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Town manager Joe Royle said last night: “Sam has had a setback and will continue to rest until he sees the specialist again. He will do some rehabilitation work with the physios and fitness coach.

“Sam was flying and was ahead of schedule, but we must not forget the extent of his injury and that he had metal screws inserted in the wound.

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“This takes time to heal, and the setback is not entirely unexpected.”

Parkin is looking ahead in positive fashion, and said: “When I came to Ipswich heading the scoring charts was something I wanted to achieve.

“And it is still in my plans. I am hopeful that I will be back in the team before too long and adding more goals.

“My rehabilitation was going well, but the Friday before the Burnley game my ankle became sore and I had to leave the training ground.

“I am a novice when it comes to injuries, and don't know the full score, but I am hopeful about making a full recovery sooner rather than later.”

Parkin, who was signed for £450,000 from Swindon last summer, is just one of the Town strikers who are currently on the treatment table joining Nicky Forster (cartilage), Alan Lee (hamstring) and Danny Haynes (ankle).

While his team-mates may have experience in dealing with injuries in the current jinx that is affecting the club, this is a new experience for Parkin. “I cannot remember even missing consecutive matches before this season,” he said. “I have had the odd knock and strain, but I have always been straight back in action.

“One positive to having to sit out the last three months is the chance to settle in the area. I have no regrets about my move and this is a wonderful part of the world.”

Danny Haynes could be back in the Ipswich first-team squad this weekend.

The 18-year-old striker was injured in the 2-1 win at Norwich on February 5, and a couple of minutes later scored the 88th-minute winner.

It was feared his ankle injury would keep him out of action for at least a month, but Town boss Joe Royle said: “Danny has done some training and he has a chance of being fit for the home game against Leicester on Saturday.

“There's no doubt that young blood heals quicker and his progress is good news. We are not getting carried away, but the signs are encouraging. Danny has been able to do more than we expected.”

There is also better news of four-goal ace Alan Lee, who made a massive impact in just six games since his £100,000 move from Cardiff.

Lee felt his hamstring go after he netted the equaliser in Town's 2-1 win at Crewe a week ago and a scan revealed a slight tear.

Royle added: “Alan is also coming along well. He is not going to be ready for the Leicester game, but could well be ready for the following week's trip to Preston.”

Jay McEveley is back at Portman Road after making good progress from the medial knee ligament injury he suffered playing at Cardiff on November 28.

The Blackburn defender, who is on a season-long loan with Ipswich, underwent an operation, but is now running again and working with the Town's physio staff.

“Hopefully in a couple of weeks I will be back in full training,” said the 21-year-old. “After that it will be a case of playing reserve games, and if things go according to plan, I should be available for the first team from around the middle of next month.”

Trialist Henry Kanu has been told he will not be offered a contract with Ipswich Town. The brother of West Brom player Nwankwo trained with Town either side of the weekend.

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