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MANAGER: Not great news, but it could have been worse

Paul Simpson with an injury update

13 August 2022

Club News

MANAGER: Not great news, but it could have been worse

Paul Simpson with an injury update

13 August 2022

United’s frustrating injury situation has taken up a lot of press conference time in recent weeks, and it was no different after the Swindon game on Saturday evening as we asked manager Paul Simpson for the latest update from the treatment room.

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“We were without Ben Barclay, Ryan Edmondson and Morgan Feeney from our last league game, and from those Ben’s is the worst,” he said. “Again, it’s a really innocuous thing. He landed awkwardly during a set play in the game last week and he’s damaged three ligaments in his ankle.

“We’re looking at probably eight weeks, which is horrible for Ben. He’s in a protective boot at the moment, so we need to see how that goes.

“Morgan’s was a little bit more positive. We were looking at a possibility of surgery and him being out for 12 weeks, which is where we thought we were with him on Thursday, but he saw his specialist on Friday and he believes it doesn’t need surgery and there’s a possibility that it could just be a couple of weeks out for him.

“It looks as though it’s a case of just taking the weight off it and hoping the bleed he’s got around the plantar fascia in his foot, once that starts to go down, we can start loading him up again. He wants to be back in two weeks, whether that’s optimistic, that’s typical Morgan, we’ll wait and see. Possibly the Gillingham game, let’s just wait and see.

“Ryan, we didn’t know what it was with him, but he has some sort of mass of fluid at the top of his thigh and we were concerned he would also need surgery, because we felt it might have been a tear of his quads or tissue on his hip. It’s neither of those.

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“That would have been another 10 to 12 weeks, but he had an ultrasound on Friday, to follow up from the MRI, and the feeling is that if we can shut him down for a week or 10 days we should be able to start building him back up again, when the swelling goes away.

“That means it’s two or three weeks for him. That’s certainly better than how it looked for him after Tuesday night.

“With Kris getting his goals it’s giving Edmo a target to go and chase. That’s a good thing. He’s just got to get himself fit now, because he’s had a tough time. He’s been nursing this sort of hip, thigh issue since the Workington game.

“He missed two days early on in July, missed two days of training on the 11th, two days on the 25th. We’ve had to nurse him through it. He’s not fully fit yet. I think when we get over this issue, he, with Kristian Dennis, Omari Patfick, Jack Stretton, we’ve got some players who can cause problems. 

“Look, it’s still bad news but it’s probably not as bad as it could have been. Fingers crossed they’re all back on the grass soon.”

“It’s not a great situation but hopefully Taylor Charters is going to join in training this week with us,” he added. “He’s dipped in and out. He’s getting a lot of high intensity running, high speed running, the faster end of it.

“We need to get him a couple of weeks of work. I think if I’m honest I’m probably looking at pencilling him for the Man Utd U21 game in the Papa Johns. That would be a good opportunity for him. Then we might have another game the week after.

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“We’ve got to be right with Taylor. He’s one we maybe have to say, we didn’t deal with that one properly. But his enthusiasm and the look of him, we felt as though he was in a really good place, then unfortunately had a recurrence. But that’s the area of games we’re looking to try and reintroduce him.”

With many of what could be considered as ‘starters’ missing, he added: “They all seem a long way off for me at the moment because we’ve got a lot of games coming up.

“It’s Grimsby on Tuesday and another long trip to Stevenage, then the Gillingham game. There’s no point grumbling, you’ve got to take these things on the chin.

“I’ve looked and we’ve all looked as a group of staff, we’ve got a good understanding, we don’t blame each other, we just try and work out how we can be a little bit better and if there’s anything we could have done differently.

“I think because two of the injuries are muscular, they’re the ones we look at and try and work out what we could and should have done differently. The others are just impact injuries, contact injuries that are really unfortunate.

“You just have to accept that in football, where it is a contact sport, that we are going to pick up those, and we’ve just got to try and get them right as soon as we can.”

And he confirmed that the run of players needing treatment was going to have no impact at all on getting new arrival Paul Huntington ready, with no temptation at all to rush him through.

“Paul will continue training and building up his fitness, and we’ll see where we get to with him,” he told us. “I’d like him fit yesterday, but we’re going to have to  be patient with him.

“He’s a really experienced player, he knows his body, he’ll know when he’s ready. He’s been back in today, he’s been fantastic so far, really good personality around the building in the couple of days we’ve had him. When he’s ready he’ll go in and he’ll make a big effect for us. 

“Tobi Sho-Silva, we’re still four, five or maybe six weeks away from him being right. We’ve just got to be patient and keep our fingers crossed that these lads who are performing magnificently keep doing what they’re doing.”

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