Fraser to Start But Edmundson and Nolan Still Sidelined
Friday, 6th Aug 2021 10:32
New signing Scott Fraser will start for the Blues in their opening game of the season against Morecambe at Portman Road on Saturday but centre-half George Edmundson and midfielder Jon Nolan remain sidelined.
Manager Paul Cook revealed earlier in the week that the former Rangers man would miss out against the Shrimps but says the unspecified issue isn’t one which will keep him out for too long.
“I don’t want to put timeframes on things in case I get them wrong,” he said. “There are protocols around fitness now at the club, lads being ready to play, which is huge. We don’t want to take risks with any of our players.
“Going into Saturday’s game, we have one or two injury problems around the camp, which is part and parcel of football.
“George is training really well at the minute, he looks very, very strong. We do feel he’s going to be a major asset to the club and hopefully we can get him on the pitch.
“We’re talking about sooner rather than later, that’s for sure. We’re not talking about a long-term injury here, we’re talking about shorter term for sure, so let’s see when he can be back.”
But he said there is better news regarding Fraser, who missed last week’s Millwall friendly with a calf problem
“Scott will start tomorrow,” Cook confirmed. “One hundred per cent Scott Fraser will be in the team.
“Again, probably a little bit off where we’d like him to be having missed a lot of pre-season now due to injuries and transfers etc, but great quality, fantastic quality and a fantastically talented player.
“A very clever player with assisting set pieces and goals, penalties and one of the ones that I’m very excited to see and to grow. That’s the big message to our supporters, let’s watch our players grow together.”
Jon Nolan suffered a knee injury which ended his 2020/21 campaign in March and has more recently picked up a calf problem.
“Jon’s still injured at the minute,” Cook said. “He’s had a really tough pre-season now. He did his calf on the first day and unfortunately for Jon, as we speak today, he’s now missed the whole of pre-season, which as you can imagine is a massive blow for Jon.
“These lads don’t want to be injured, they don’t want to not be fit. In my time here now, I haven’t seen Jon Nolan train.
“I’ve been here nearly six months now, it was March, I came in for 15 or 16 games at the end of the season possibly, maybe not that many, but I haven’t seen Jon.
“The Jon Nolan I remember was at Shrewsbury Town as a midfielder that was probably one of the best midfielders in the division. It’s been three years since I’ve seen Jon now.
“Jon will be a bit down about the injuries, he needs to pick himself up, get back fit and get back playing.”
Asked how confident he is that with all the investment on the sports science and medical side of the club over the summer that the almost constant injury crisis at the club of the last few seasons is a thing of the past, he said: “It’s football. Even if you look at Liverpool with the injuries they had with [Virgil] Van Dijk, [Joel] Matip and [Joe] Gomez at the back, it can happen.
“It’s football, there’s no magic to this game where we can go out and train and all come back in not injured. It’s a contact sport.
“I think the attention to detail at the club now I would imagine is at a level it’s never been at, so hopefully that can support and keep the injuries away.
“I’m not sure it will ever completely kill injuries off because that can’t happen, but certainly the lads the highest professionalism in that field that we can get.
“Returning to training, returning to playing, being fit to play, they’re all massive parts of the game now. I think we’re on board with everything we’re trying to do.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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