Vincent-Young steps up his injury return... patience will be needed but he could truly spark Town’s promotion push
PUBLISHED: 09:42 19 February 2020 | UPDATED: 10:51 19 February 2020
Kane Vincent-Young moved a step closer to his Ipswich Town return yesterday as he worked with the Blues fitness coaches at their Playford Road training base.
The £500,000 signing from Colchester has not played since the end of October having undergone two surgeries; firstly to deal with a hernia before a second procedure on his adductor tendons.
Following the operations a potential return date of the end of February was suggested, with the wing-back now stepping up his rehab after swapping gym work for the grass at Playford Road.
He is yet to join in training with the rest of the Ipswich squad but he has been running alongside strength and conditioning coach Tom Walsh, with a fair way still to go before he's ready for a playing return.
"Maybe the end of the month for him," manager Paul Lambert said recently, when asked about Vincent-Young's recovery.
"He was great when he was playing and obviously he had the injury and it gave us a blow on that side but predominantly he's been great, so him coming back is going to be a major plus for us."
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Vincent-Young's arrival in August added a new dimension to the Blues, with his dynamic play at full-back raising optimism that the club had found a permanent solution in what had been a problem position for Ipswich for the best part of a decade.
He's comfortable on the ball, adventurous and daring and can glide past opponents and thwart them in equal measure.
His arrival sparked a switch to a wing-back system we've seen plenty of this season, with Vincent-Young's attributes perfect for a position which demands players to be strong in both defence and attack.
In his absence, Gwion Edwards and Janoi Donacien have shared the role, with the former offering attacking threat and the latter proving to be a solid defender. Neither off the full package of Vincent-Young, though.
The 23-year-old has played just nine times since making the move from the U's but had already shown enough to suggest he will prove to be an excellent piece of transfer business for Lambert, not least because of the two goals he already has to his name.
His goal was the difference at GIllingham in September as he finished off a beautiful Ipswich team move with a neat header at the back post before, just a week later, he collected a ball out from goalkeeper Tomas Holy, drove forward, cut inside and let off an excellent shot which beat Tranmere keeper Scott Davies for the final strike of Town's 4-1 victory.
Patience will be required, given he's spent so long on the sidelines and the fact he will surely take several weeks to get up to full speed, but if the former Tottenham youngster can recapture his early season form down the stretch, he will prove to be 'like a new signing' as Ipswich bid to win promotion from League One.