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MANAGER: His first full-contact day

Paul Simpson with an injury update

23 February 2023

Club News

MANAGER: His first full-contact day

Paul Simpson with an injury update

23 February 2023

There was more good news for midfielder Josh Dixon this week as he once again stepped things up on his return from his ACL injury, with a return to full-contact training on the cards for the Friday session.

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“Tomorrow will be Josh’s first full-contact day,” manager Paul Simpson confirmed. “He joined in the full session today [Thursday] including the 11 v 11 match prep we did.

“At one point he had a bit of a wrestle with Omari Patrick where they both ended up on the floor, but he got up fine from that.

“He’s back into it, which will give him a massive boost, even though he probably wasn’t supposed to do everything today.

“Because of the way he plays and him being left footed I wanted him involved in what we were working on in terms of what Crawley will do. He did it all and was fine, and hopefully he’ll keep progressing and we can keep moving him forward.”

“If we’re being honest, he’s been in cotton wool for the last nine or ten months,” he continued. “The cotton wool’s coming off and he’s starting to get back involved again.

“We all held our breath when he went to ground with Omari, but he got up with a smile on his face. He’s back into it and just has to build his fitness up.

“We’ve got to try and get a plan for him, to get some games under his belt. If that means going out on loan somewhere to get some games, we might have to do that, because we don’t have the option of putting him into reserve games here.”

But there was bad news for defender Ben Barclay, who had targeted a return for this weekend.

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“Ben had a little bit of a setback on Monday, nothing serious but we’ve had to take him off his feet for a few days to settle it down, so he won’t be involved this weekend,” he commented.

“We might be able to start building him up the week after, but there’s no additions to the group from last weekend.

“Ben did some work over the weekend, running on a treadmill, and felt no discomfort. We tried to get him out for the first part of the session on the grass, it was quite damp and wet on Monday when we went out, and he just felt something.

“Rather than pushing and trying to get him through it, we took him out of it. There’s a possibility he’s going to be back out on the grass to run again on Friday with a view we’ll build him up then to join in next week at some point.

“Hopefully it’s not too bad. We did say when he did it that it would be four weeks and we’re still within that time frame. We’re just hoping he’s feeling good that we could maybe get him a few days earlier than expected, but that’s not been the case.”

On two of the longer-term casualties, he said: “Brennan Dickenson is doing ok. He’s doing all his gym work, but is still not out on the grass yet, probably a month or two away.

“He’s hopeful he might be able to get back available for the last one or two games of the season. That’s a long way off at the moment, but we keep working with him and hopefully he keeps progressing.

“Tobi had his operation last week, so he’s at the start. Fin Back is doing really well, in terms of his recovery.

“I speak to him or send text messages, Chris the physio’s speaking with the Forest physio. We’re looking, if everything goes to plan, maybe the end of March that he should be fit and available.

“We’re still in conversations with Forest about it and with Fin. Hopefully we can get him back in as soon as he’s fully fit.”

“With the others, we’re looking at the Swindon game for Dev, so he’s getting there,” he concluded. “Ryan Edmondson’s joined in a lot of the training, but still no contact.

“Taylor Charters is going well, so we’re getting closer with a few. We have the 19 available for Crawley again, so one of them will miss out, but that’s how it is. Hopefully whoever is picked will put on a good performance.”


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