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MANAGER: The surgery went well

Keith Millen with an injury update

7 January 2022


MANAGER: The surgery went well

Keith Millen with an injury update

7 January 2022

With the squad starting to look stronger as players return from injury and Covid isolation, manager Keith Millen brought us up to date on the longer-term absentees at his end of week pre-match press conference.

“Gime Toure actually had some good news, even though he needed the operation in the end,” he explained. “He’s been away with Covid, but injury-wise he’s still longer-term.

“He’s developing well, I think the surgery went well, but you’re still certainly looking at weeks before he gets anywhere near training.

“I’m not sure the medical term for what he has but it was a groin problem that needed some sort of surgery.

“When they did the surgery they were pleased - it wasn’t as bad as they first thought, so the length of time he’ll be out will be shorter than was expected.”

“Josh Dixon is another who is progressing,” he added. “He’s been training, he’s had a few little setbacks, a bit of swelling at times, so he’s had to come out of training.

“It’s just trying to get some consistency to his weekly load that we’re trying to work out, how hard he can train every day. That’s where we are.

“He’s looked ok in training because when he does train he looks quite sharp. If he can get some consistent days of work then we’ll look maybe to get him some games somewhere.”

“Obviously Joe [Riley] was back on the bench for the last couple of games,” he commented. “As I said on Tuesday night, he’s medically fit and he’s got a bit more confidence in the injury he had.

“He’s not fully fit by any means, it’s six weeks he’s been out, but medically he’s in a good place and feels more confident in his body, which is important.”

“The other lads working their way back are Zach Clough and Lewis Alessandra,” he concluded. “We’re probably going to have a practice game next week behind closed doors, amongst ourselves.

“That’ll allow me to some fitness into the likes of Zach, and some who haven’t played as much, and hopefully Lewi might be ok for that.

“It’s funny because ‘bounce games’ is a term I hadn’t heard until I got here. I’ve never come across them being called that before.

“We have spoken about an outstanding Morecambe game that we need to fit in. We’re thinking maybe later on in the month, that might be a time we can do that, and if we do feel we need to play a reserve game, and if the schedule allows, we’ll certainly slot one in.

“We’ve had a lot of discussions on trying to fit fixtures in. The only good thing about us losing on Tuesday is that we don’t have an extra midweek game to fit in at the end of the month.

“I’m gutted to be out, but it frees up the last Tuesday in January. We want to try and stay clear of a constant run of Saturday-Tuesday games if we can.

“It was looking like we would have nine or ten weeks on the spin at one point, but we’re trying to arrange the fixtures where we have a free midweek in the middle so we can recover.

“Playing that amount of fixtures so close together is tough for anybody, physically and mentally. Hopefully we don’t have other games postponed, most teams seem to be playing this weekend, and we’re looking ok at the moment.”

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