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MANAGER: They're both progressing

An injury update from manager Keith Millen

17 November 2021

United boss Keith Millen revealed at his midweek press conference that it’s good news with injured duo Zach Clough and Joe Riley, who are both progressing well following their respective head and foot injuries sustained over the course of the last week.

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“They’re both progressing,” he said. “There’s a protocol we have to follow with Zach, he’s been doing what he’s been allowed to do and each day we monitor if there’s any reaction.

“So far he hasn’t had any reaction which is good. It’s a seven-day protocol, I don’t know the ins and outs of it, but the medical team have told me what he’s allowed to do.

“If he gets clearance after each day he can progress the day after, so he’s been able to do a lot of running without contact yet.

“He’s worked hard over the last couple of days without any reaction so if he’s the same tomorrow then he can step up a bit more. I’m expecting him to be able to travel to Exeter with us.”

“Joe is still sore,” he continued. “He’s able to do some work, but not able to join in training properly.

“We’ve had the results through of his scan. I’ve not got the diagnosis of it, but it’s good news as far as there’s no structural damage.

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“There’s something there, but it’s just trying to work out if it’s just bruising and pain, then maybe you can carry on playing. If it’s structural problems you’ve got to stay off it.

“Like I say, it isn’t structural, so the work we do with him is as the pain allows. The problem is with your foot you’re running on it, kicking the ball with it, it’s not something you can hide.

“Anything around the foot is a difficult one to try and gauge. I’ll wait to the last minute on Joe, see how he is Friday morning.”

On the complications waiting to the last minute can bring to team and squad selection for the weekend, he told us: “Experience tells you, you don’t get stressed over decisions, because you never know to the next morning where you’re at anyway.

“Something might happen, so you can be awake all night thinking who’s going to play, then sometimes the decision’s made for you.

“We’ve got a rough idea what we’re going to do, who’s going to play. But we’ve got a couple of lads we’re waiting on.

“The beauty is we can wait until Friday morning, so we’ve still got a couple of days, but I won’t take players that aren’t fit.

“I wouldn’t make them travel for the sake of it. Whoever travels needs to be fit and available.”

And on Magnus Norman and Josh Dixon, he commented: “They’re improving, still going to be a few weeks, so there’s nothing around the corner coming back.

“They’re still weeks away from taking part in training. The squad is really what it is – a few little niggles.”

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