Williams will be guided by staff after five-month injury ‘nightmare’

Jonny Williams, pictured in agony after Joel Ekstrand's crude challenge left him with a groin injury

Jonny Williams, pictured in agony after Joel Ekstrand's crude challenge left him with a groin injury last November. Photo: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town loanee Jonny Williams admits the last five months have been an injury ‘nightmare’ and that he has watched back replays of the crude challenge that sidelined him several times.

The 21-year-old midfielder was left in a heap, visibly in pain, after Watford’s Joel Ekstrand’s wild lunge in Town’s 1-0 win at Portman Road last November.

Williams hasn’t played since and, having returned to the Blues on loan last week, his lack of match fitness may limit him to a bit-part role during the final seven league games.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s crunch home clash with Championship promotion rivals Bournemouth (5.15pm ko, Sky Sports), Williams said: “Originally I thought I’d be back in about six to eight weeks, but it’s ended up being about 20 to 21 weeks. It’s been a bit of a nightmare to say the least.

“I had a set-back in January and then again in March. It’s not been as straight forward as I’d have liked, but the physio had told me that groin injuries are a bit of a pain, as I’ve found out.

“It’s just been a long rehab. I’ve seen the specialist a couple of times just to check it’s okay and they keep saying no operation was needed. The set-backs have just been a case of over-stretching in training. It’s been frustrating.”

Asked how he now reflected on the Ekstrand challenge, Williams said: “I’ve seen it back a few times, as you can probably imagine – it was badly timed to say the least. I knew straight away it was going to be a bad one.”

Most Read

He continued: “I only found out that I was going to be available for loan last Tuesday. The manager (Alan Pardew) wanted me to go and get some games somewhere and once that was the case coming back here was as a no-brainer. Ipswich was always going be top of the pile of options because I loved my time here previously.

“I’m delighted to be back. Obviously there’s a rule about me not being able to play at Wembley. That’s a bit annoying, but rules are rules.

“Let’s focus on getting in the top two first and if we do end up in the play-offs then I can still play in the semis. It’s not the end of the world.”

Have the Easter weekend matches – a trip to Huddersfield on Monday coming hot-on-the-heels of tomorrow’s match – realistically come too soon for Williams?

“It’s one of them where I can’t look too far ahead at the moment,” he said. “I’m just getting through each training session and seeing where I am.

“I’ve been in and out of training for quite a while now, managing what I do. Full training has been the last seven to 10 days.

“I’m just hoping to be as fit for as many games as I can. At the moment it’s a case of see how tomorrow goes and weigh it up from there. I’ll have to be guided by the staff around me.”

Williams, whose deal expires just before a potential Play-Off Final, a game he won as Palace player in 2013, added: “Hopefully we won’t have to go through the stress of that. Everyone is focussing on the top two at the moment. It would be silly not to, given it’s so close.

“I’m just hoping I can contribute to promotion, whether that’s via the automatic places or the play-offs.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter