McCarthy: I've Not Had Many Injury Crises as Bad as This
Friday, 29th Dec 2017 15:07
Boss Mick McCarthy says he can’t recall many injury crises as bad as the one Town are currently going through during his 25-year-plus management career, definitely not in one position with Teddy Bishop, who was ruled out for the season yesterday with a ruptured hamstring, one of eight midfield players sidelined.
“I don’t think I’ve had many as bad as this,” McCarthy said. “And certainly not in one position, that’s for certain.”
Bishop, who requires surgery and will be out until pre-season, joins Andre Dozzell and Emyr Huws (both knee) in being out for the remainder of the campaign, while Cole Skuse (ankle), Luke Hyam (knee), Tom Adeyemi (hamstring), Tristan Nydam (hip) and Flynn Downes (calf) are also still sidelined, although some are closing in on a return.
“Desperately sad news for him, for the team, for me, for the fans, for everybody because he looked like he was getting himself back to his best,” McCarthy said regarding Bishop, who limped off in the 40th minute of Tuesday’s 0-0 draw with QPR.
“I thought he showed glimpses on Boxing Day against QPR, how he handles the ball and drifts past people and bursts into space and creates openings. Really sad, desperately sad for him, he’s had a tough couple of years."
Bishop’s contract is up at the end of the season but with the Blues having an option to keep the 21-year-old for a further year. Will that situation be an additional concern for him while he recovers from the injury?
“It’s a worry for him, not for the club because there’s the option, which is always in the club’s favour,” McCarthy said.
“I don’t decide on those things. But any football club has to make sure the player is fit before they do anything with him, they can’t just let him go.
“Teddy’s missed a lot of football but if we can get him fit he’s such a wonderful player. I don’t know how it affects that. It affects him, he won’t be fit until pre-season.”
McCarthy says the demanding nature of the Championship can’t be blamed for Town having had quite so many injuries throughout this season.
“Of course it does [have some effect], but I don’t think that’s impacted on seven or eight midfield players being injured,” he reflected.
“Ted’s been injured for a while, Emyr’s come back and done his knee. Emyr’s a big, physical specimen, as is Tom Adeyemi.
“I could level that a little bit I think at Tristan and Flynn, the fact that they’ve come out of the youth team and bypassed the U23s, but even that’s nothing like training with the first team every day and then playing in the first team.
“And then travelling away with England's U19s and not getting any break. That could have had an effect, certainly, but the physicality of the Championship’s not affected Bish and Luke Hyam and Emyr and Tom.”
Holding midfielder Skuse is still not ready to return to the team having suffered a kick to the ankle against Reading a fortnight ago.
“Skusey’s not right, he was hell bent on going out and trying it this morning but I said to Matt Byard the physio that I’d prefer him for the rest of the games,’ the Town manager continued.
“He tried it for Tuesday and it didn’t work and, of course, you always end up hurting it a little bit more.
“I said, ‘Let’s make sure he’s absolutely right’ and if that’s going to be Tuesday’s game at Fulham, let’s make sure that’s the case. Then we’ve got him for the rest of the season because he’s been an ever-present pretty much.
“Flynn trained today, that’s the first time in a long while, a good few weeks, and Tristan is going to train on Sunday, so at least they’re coming back into the squad.
“When they got in the team I was really excited by them and they’ve both played games and they’ll play more games this season.”
Regarding some of the other absentees, McCarthy says there is better news regarding some players than others with Tom Adeyemi remaining some way off getting back to action.
“He’s still in the physio’s room, he’s still having treatment, he’s not yet been on the pitch doing his rehab,” he said.
But Luke Hyam, who hasn’t played for Town since the final day of the 2015/16 season game at Derby, is closing in on his return.
“He deadened the nerve at Cambridge almost two years ago, it will be two years ago in pre-season,” McCarthy recalled.
“That was a strange one because that took a long time to fathom out and then had to be operated on and then he did come back and he looked great in training and he made a brilliant block on the line and he did his ankle ligaments, and you’re thinking, ‘Wow!’.
“And then all the other stuff has been subsequent from that, his knee [operation in September] was a tidy-up.
“But he’s back training, Luke, he looks great, I’m delighted to see him on the pitch with a smile on his face.
“I haven’t spoken to him or to the physios, but he’s trained and so whenever the next U23s game is, I think he should play in it.”
Given the injury situation is a midfield addition now a priority in January, with the Twitter rumour mill already linking free agent Danny Guthrie, the 30-year-old having left Blackburn at the end of last season.
“It certainly focuses all our minds on that position because we’ve lost so many,” McCarthy admitted. “It would still be nice to have Skusey back and Flynn and Tristan but it probably has become more important that we look there and can get someone for that position.”
He added: “We’ll see, if Flynn gets back and Flynn comes in or Tristan and we get Skusey back, Kevin Bru’s still here and he’s done great whenever he’s played and he’s here to the end of the season.
“That might be in my thought processes more than going and getting somebody else in because going and getting somebody who is better than Kevin Bru, one, might cost a lot of money and, two, they might not be available. He’s still our player.”
Bru was made available for transfer in the summer when he almost joined Toulouse and had been expected to depart in January, but McCarthy says the Mauritius international, whose contract is up at the end of June, although again with an option for a further year, could now stay until the end of the season.
“The injuries mean we have might change our opinion with Kevin,” he added.
Elsewhere in the squad, keeper Dean Gerken remains sidelined with a hip injury, which will see Michael Crowe again on the bench.
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