Walters out for Town

THERE will be no Jon Walters for Ipswich Town and no Keiron Dyer for West Ham in tonight's friendly at Portman Road.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

THERE will be no Jon Walters for Ipswich Town and no Keiron Dyer for West Ham in tonight's friendly at Portman Road.

The Blues Player of the Year for last season is also in danger of missing the season opener against Preston North End on Saturday.

The Blues attacker is still on compassionate leave with his wife as she waits to give birth to their second child, which is due at the end of this week, while Dyer is believed to have suffered a stress fracture to the same leg that he broke almost a year ago after signing for the Hammers from Newcastle United.

Walters has been given special dispensation by manager Jim Magilton to spend so much time with his expectant wife Joanne as the birth of their first daughter Scarlett was especially difficult when he was born with part of her stomach on the outside of her body.

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While no problems are anticipated this time round, the family are understandably being particularly cautious and Town are allowing the player all the time off he needs.

It is understood Walters is doing some training in the northwest to maintain fitness but missing today's game against the Hammers may jeopardise his starting place against Preston with Danny Haynes in prime position to start both today and on Saturday.

Walters has a specialised programme to follow and it is understood he has been training with old club Chester City as well.

Dyer's injury is a particularly sickening blow for the former Blues star who has been told he could be out for another four months after cracking a bone in the right leg he suffered a double fracture last year.

Luckless Dyer has missed 1,445 days through injury since he was first struck down with fractured left fibula in 199, when he famously played on and scored anyway.

He suffered a litany of problems at Newcastle with shin splints, calf and hamstring injuries couple with a blood disorder.

The 29-year-old hoped he could put all that behind him when he moved to West Ham, in order to be nearer his Ipswich-based family, but after playing just 193 minutes he was crocked once more.

Tonight's friendly could be the last time the number six shirt is worn by a West Ham player as the club plans to retire the number as a tribute to Sir Bobby Moore.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

FOR the first report on tonight's game at Portman Road, log onto www.eadt.co.uk after the game.

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