'I've not really seen him head a ball... that's cause for concern' - Captain Chambers set to miss Bristol Rovers clash
PUBLISHED: 11:21 13 December 2019 | UPDATED: 11:21 13 December 2019
Ipswich Town look likely to be without captain Luke Chambers once again this weekend as the skipper continues to deal with a neck injury.
The central defender missed the two games with Coventry on Saturday and Tuesday with the issue and, while he's back in training, the nature of the injury means he is unlikely to be fit to take on Bristol Rovers this weekend.
"He only trained the other day and we've not really seen him head a ball at the moment which is a little bit of a cause for concern, so we'll have to wait and see this morning," manager Paul Lambert said.
"If this one's too soon we hope he'll be ok for the following game (Portsmouth away). We can't take a risk with somebody's neck.
"There's a bigger picture so we have to wait and see. Luke probably won't play but we'll have to see."
On winger Danny Rowe, who missed the same two games with a knee problem, Lambert added: "Danny's still struggling with his knee a little bit so he'll be a doubt."
Gwion Edwards is suspended after picking up his fifth league yellow card of the season at Coventry last weekend.
Freddie Sears made significant progress this week as he played for Ipswich's Under 23s at Millwall on Monday - the first time he's featured in a game since suffering a knee ligament injury at Norwich in February.
The striker has stated an aim of being involved when Town visit Portsmouth next weekend, but Lambert doesn't want to rush last season's top scorer back into first-team action too quickly.
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"It's still a long way for him to go and you shouldn't pin your hopes on Freddie at the minute," Lambert said.
"He and Bishop are doing really well and slowly but surely are getting there.
"Freddie's thinking with a footballer's head on, which I get, but it's a big ask when you haven't been thrown into the deep end yet.
"The last thing I would want would be for the same injury to happen, which could happen. You have to use your head on that one.
"The aim is for him to carry on where he left off last season but you have to be sensible with it and that's what we're doing."
Lambert will decide this weekend whether or not Teddy Bishop, who is back training following a knee injury of his own, will feature for the Under 23s when Crystal Palace visit.
"He's out on the training field and he and Freddie will be two good new signings for us when they come back," Lambert said of Bishop.
"There's no pressure on them and they will come back in their own time. Hopefully they will come back like they were before.
"You don't want the guys to go out injured."