Makin goes under the knife

CROCKED Ipswich star Chris Makin underwent an operation today in a bid to save his season.The rugged defender has missed 20 first team games since hobbling off during the home defeat by West Ham back in August.

CROCKED Ipswich star Chris Makin underwent an operation today in a bid to save his season.

The rugged defender has missed 20 first team games since hobbling off during the home defeat by West Ham back in August.

And while surgery will further delay his return to action, Town are hoping it will at least pinpoint the problem and put the 30-year-old back on the comeback trail.

Ipswich boss Joe Royle said: "Chris is having an exploratory operation to see what can be done. This has been a bit of a mystery from day one.


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"We have never really been sure if it's a hip or a groin problem and the medical people are now pretty certain it's a trapped nerve.

"We now hope to get to the bottom of the situation, but we'll have to wait and see as to how long Chris is likely to be out. The surgeon feels this is the only way forward."

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A fit-again Makin would be a big bonus for Royle as he looks to keep Ipswich firmly on track for a Premiership return.

Yesterday's 2-0 home defeat by Norwich cost fifth-placed Town valuable ground in the promotion race, but it was only their second defeat in a 14-game sequence and they remain in contention.

Another long-term casualty, central defender Drissa Diallo, is progressing well and has already started training with the first team squad.

Striker Alun Armstrong, meanwhile, is interesting relegation-threatened Bradford, although Royle stressed: "They have only made an inquiry at this stage."

Valley Parade boss Bryan Robson spent £1.6 million to sign Armstrong for Middlesbrough from Stockport in February 1998, then sold him to Ipswich three years ago after he dropped out of the first team reckoning at the Riverside Stadium.

Royle added: "There is nothing arranged as yet. Alun only had the stitches out at the weekend after he gashed his leg playing for the reserves."

Royle is likely to make changes for the trip to Upton Park on Boxing Day, with on-loan midfielder Alan Mahon and top scorer Pablo Counago both pushing for places in his starting line-up.

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