Chambers a Doubt But Berra, Skuse and Smith Back
Thursday, 16th Feb 2017 14:22
Skipper Luke Chambers is a doubt ahead of Saturday’s home game against Leeds with a cracked rib which he sustained when scoring the Blues’ goal in the 1-1 draw at Brighton on Tuesday. Town are already without Tom Lawrence, who is suspended having picked up his 10th booking at the Amex, and Toumani Diagouraga, who is unavailable against his parent club, but Christophe Berra, Cole Skuse and Tommy Smith are all back in the squad after injury, and winger Danny Rowe could also be involved for the first time since joining from Macclesfield in the transfer window.
“Luke Chambers cracked a rib when he went and dived in and scored his goal,” manager Mick McCarthy said. “That’s been confirmed today with a scan.
“It was a bruising encounter, it was a great game, an exciting game and an enjoyable game, we played very well in it. Chambo’s one that we’re having to consider.
“Tom Lawrence got booked so he’s suspended for two games. Bruising, they’ve taken their toll the two away games like that, travelling, and both games were pretty tough and physical. They’ve just rested up, they’ll all be OK, Chambo we’ll see.”
Despite another of his centre-halves picking up a knock McCarthy dismissed the idea he might have to consider coming out of retirement to fill in.
“My mind is willing, the body’s not. I’m not even sure the mind’s willing now because it knows the body can’t do it!" he laughed.
“Tommy Smith played in the U23s and he’s available, Diggers is still available and Christophe Berra’s OK for the game.
“I wouldn’t want to lose Chambo because I think he’s been outstanding and deserves a lot of credit considering what was happening on deadline day.”
McCarthy is pleased to have Berra, who suffered a concussion at Aston Villa last Saturday, available again.
“He’s been pretty much a constant performer all through my tenure here," he added. "From signing him he’s been pretty much a fixture there.
“The lads have filled in well for him, I think Jonas Knudsen has been outstanding in that position and Jordan Spence has come in on a Bosman free transfer and he’s done remarkably well and we’ve had good results from it.”
With Diagouraga ineligible, Cole Skuse looks set to come back into midfield having overcome his achilles injury.
“He’s fine, I’ve just watched him training and he’s given me the thumbs up,” the Blues boss added. “I’m pleased with that.”
McCarthy says recent signing Rowe could come into contention for the weekend having got over his groin problem: “He trained today, so if he’s fit he’ll be in the squad.”
Luke Hyam came through his first U23 game after his lengthy absence with a knee injury on Monday, when he played 65 minutes, without a problem and is looking good in training but isn't yet ready to start and seems unlikely to be in the squad.
McCarthy says Jonny Williams is making good progress after undergoing shoulder surgery at the end of last year, even if he might be a touch dispirited today.
“He’s all right, but you’ll find that he’s very down and disappointed today because me and Andy Liddell beat him and Berra at head tennis, so he’s probably not able to play for a couple of weeks due to stress. I told him to keep his chins up!” the Town boss joked.
“But other than that he’s all right, we’re looking at March, there’s a U23s game on March 6th, the Monday, that’s being targeting.
“It’s his shoulder, so as long he’s not landing on his arm and nobody’s challenging him and it’s non-competitive physically, no one's barging one other, he’s OK. Unless you stick your head over the net!”
Steven Taylor (hamstring), Adam Webster (ankle), Dominic Samuel (broken toe) and Giles Coke (knee) all remain sidelined.
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