Town get boost

IPSWICH Town have been handed a massive double boost with full-backs Chris Makin and Fabian Wilnis making quicker than expected progress.Dutch defender Wilnis has kept his promise to return within a month, following a shoulder injury, and could return to the side to play Burnley on Saturday.

IPSWICH Town have been handed a massive double boost with full-backs Chris Makin and Fabian Wilnis making quicker than expected progress.

Dutch defender Wilnis has kept his promise to return within a month, following a shoulder injury, and could return to the side to play Burnley on Saturday.

And versatile Makin has stunned medical staff by put himself in the frame to play against Preston next week.

The former Marseilles and Sunderland full-back, who was also with Blues boss Joe Royle at Oldham Athletic, has responded well to an injection to cure a hip problem. If there continues to be no adverse reaction he will avoid surgery, which would have ruled him out for the rest of the season.

Both players joined in training yesterday and although Wilnis got a kick on an ankle they came through fine.

Makin said: "I don't want to speak too soon but it went well. We will know for sure in a couple of weeks."

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Royle was delighted to have the pair back. He said: "Providing there is no reaction from training then Chris looks to be just 10 to 14 days away from playing a game. That would be a massive boost for us going into the last third of the season.

"At the end of last week Chris was not showing any great progress but I spoke with the physio Dave Williams on Monday night and he told me how pleased he was he had come on and asked if Chris could rejoin the squad, so he trained yesterday.

"He and Jim (Magilton) were soon moaning at each other so it was back to normal, which is a good sign."

Wilnis popped a shoulder out of its socket after landing awkwardly at Coventry City on January 31, but although initial reports suggested he could be out for six weeks, the former De Graafschap defender told the EADT at the time that he intended to be back in less than four weeks.

Wilnis last night said: "My shoulder is fine, no problem. I have a cut on my ankle but it is nothing and I should be alright."

Royle confirmed that Wilnis was high in his thoughts for the trip to Turf Moor and added: "Fabian took a heavy blow in training but his shoulder is fine and he has a great chance for Saturday."

Should both continue to improve then Royle will put his search for a defender on hold, although the hunt still goes on for a loan player.

He said: "It may stop one of the loan targets but if we can still bring someone else in it will give us a boost for the run-in, just as the three loanees did last October.

"But that does not mean I'm dissatisfied with the squad I have got.

"Only two sides in the league have won more games than us (Norwich and West Brom).

"For all the criticism of our home record, only one team has won more at home.

"We are unbeaten away from home since last September, and on top of that we have scored more goals from corners than anyone.

"That is why I get so angry at being written off after one poor performance (against Wigan)."

Meanwhile, Town players were put through their paces by the Army this week – not the Blues and Royles – with exercises which included log carrying as part of their circuit as they look to find an extra edge in their promotion push.

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