Ward joins Huws, Skuse and Adeyemi in the Ipswich Town treatment room... so when might they return?
PUBLISHED: 15:32 28 December 2018
Grant Ward was the latest Ipswich Town player to be sidelined after suffering a season-ending knee injury. ANDY WARREN looks at the Blues' long-term injuries.
Grant Ward – knee
The latest Ipswich Town player to enter the treatment room, after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee on Boxing Day.
Ward’s knee became caught under him during a tangle with QPR’s Josh Scowen. He limped from the pitch with the help of physio Matt Byard before ultimately leaving on a stretcher.
He now faces nine months out, ending his season and casting doubts over Ipswich career.
The 24-year-old’s contract is due to expire in the summer, although the club hold the option to extend his deal by a further 12 months.
In his absence, Gwion Edwards and teenager Jack Lankester will shoulder the burden on the right wing while manager Paul Lambert could also enter the transfer market for reinforcements.
Cole Skuse – knee
Experienced midfielder Skuse, who has been able to show just how well-rounded his game is under Lambert’s management, suffered a knee injury in training ahead of the visit to Stoke at the start of December.
He has undergone minor surgery to correct cartilage damage and it was originally feared he would be sidelined for at least two months. However, Skuse feels he is ahead of schedule.
His loss is a major blow to Lambert and his side, with the Scot fielding having to field a midfield lacking in both age and experience as a result.
The centre of the pitch is another area on a lengthy January recruitment list.
Emyr Huws - knee
The Welshman hasn’t stepped foot on the pitch for the Ipswich Town first-team since tearing his lateral meniscus in his knee at Middlesbrough more than a year ago.
Prior to that, he had been dealing with a troublesome Achilles, which has limited him to just five first-team appearances since making his loan move from Cardiff permanent in the summer of 2017.
He ultimately went under the knife after suffering the knee problem at the Riverside and, despite returning to training and featuring for the Blues’ Under 23s on a handful of occasions since, has struggled to string sessions together at Playford Road on a regular basis due to ‘puffing’ in his knee.
Lambert said recently that he hoped Huws would begin work with fitness coach Jim Henry prior to the Christmas period.
The 25-year-old, contracted until 2021, will not be rushed, though.
Tom Adeyemi – Achilles
The midfielder’s Ipswich Town career has never really begun.
He’s played just 361 minutes over five games since arriving on a free transfer in the summer of 2017, with the last of those coming against Norwich last October.
He initially struggled with illness, later suffered hamstring trouble and has most recently gone under the knife in the hope of dealing with an Achilles problem.
Former Ipswich manager Paul Hurst said the midfielder needed to ‘grit his teeth and get on with it’ in the summer, suggesting Adeyemi was suffering with something of a mental block due to his bad luck with injuries.
Adeyemi’s last appearance of any kind came in the 1-0 friendly win over Kilmarnock in Spain in the summer, with Lambert suggesting he could begin fitness work in the New Year.
He’s out of contract in the summer, with Town holding an option to extend his deal, making it only natural to wonder whether he will be seen in a Blue shirt again.
Tayo Edun – eye
The Fulham loanee is back at his parent club after suffering an eye injury.
He’s made seven appearances during his temporary stay at Portman Road, with his last coming in Hurst’s final game in charge during the 2-0 loss at Leeds in October.
He scored on his debut against Blackburn, rescuing a 2-2 draw, and was shown a red card during the 1-1 draw with Aston Villa in August.
He made the bench for Lambert’s first two games in charge but has not been involved since.
His loan could potentially be terminated in January, freeing up further room for temporary arrivals.
Virus in the camp
The Blues have had to deal with the impact of illness and a virus in the camp in recent weeks.
Ward and Kayden Jackson have both missed games as a result but both subsequently returned to matchday squads.
Teddy Bishop was another who was struck down, missing out on a start against Sheffield United as a result, but is healthy enough to return at Middlesbrough this weekend.
Danny Rowe has also struggled with illness of late.