Miracle man Fab eyes Burnley game
FABIAN Wilnis could make a 'miracle' comeback for Ipswich at Burnley on Saturday.The Dutch full-back has astonished manager Joe Royle and his staff with the speed of his recovery from a shoulder injury sustained at Coventry on January 31.
FABIAN Wilnis could make a 'miracle' comeback for Ipswich at Burnley on Saturday.
The Dutch full-back has astonished manager Joe Royle and his staff with the speed of his recovery from a shoulder injury sustained at Coventry on January 31.
Medical opinion at the time was that 33-year-old Wilnis would be out of action for a minimum of four weeks and perhaps as long as six.
But Royle insisted today that the player is in line for a first team return at Turf Moor, just three weeks to the day since he fell awkwardly at Highfield Road and was unable to continue after half-time.
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Royle said: "Fabian is way ahead of schedule and making excellent progress. He is not without a chance of playing against Burnley at the weekend.
"He did a lot of work on Friday and came through well. He's a certainty for Saturday week and the home game against Preston, but he could be back before that."
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There was further good news for Royle when another injured full-back, Chris Makin, was said to be much improved.
The former Sunderland player has not kicked a ball at first team level since hobbling off against West Ham at Portman Road in August.
There was uncertainty as to the full extent of the injury and he eventually underwent surgery to release a trapped nerve in the groin and hip area.
By that time a reserve comeback had failed and when the problem persisted it was decided he should receive a make-or-break injection last week.
Makin was none too hopeful when he spoke briefly about the injury at the weekend, but there was a far more encouraging response to an excellent training session yesterday.
Royle added: "Chris had made very little progress until yesterday, when he had a very good session with physio Dave Williams.
"He knows he still has a lot to do, but yesterday was very encouraging and he is now ready to be pushed on to the next level."
Despite the good news regarding Wilnis and Makin, however, Royle is not about to call time on his search for reinforcements in that area of the team.
Attempts to bring in a loan signing are ongoing, with the Town boss admitting: "I would still take one of the two players in whom I am seriously interested.
"It is still a question of waiting to hear from managers as to whether or not they are in a position to allow the players out on loan. But we have until March and the transfer deadline, if necessary."
Meanwhile, Royle is set to complete a double deal with non-league Ford United for teenage pair Jerome Sobers and Ben Patton.
Town had already decided to offer a professional contract to central defender Sobers and they now intend to also add Patton, equally at home in defence or midfield, to the Portman Road payroll.
Royle said: "Offers have been made and accepted, so now it is just a question of completing the formalities in the next few days before the lads report for duty with the academy."
Town goalkeeper Andy Marshall was the subject of an inquiry from promotion rivals West Bromwich Albion, manager Joe Royle revealed today.
But Albion, missing first choice keeper Russell Hoult due to a back injury, instead signed the experienced Kevin Pressman from Sheffield Wednesday as back-up to new number one Joe Murphy.
Marshall joined Millwall on loan last month and has made two league appearances, in the away win over Crewe and the home draw with Stoke.
But he was on the bench as French keeper Willy Gueret played in the FA Cup wins over Telford and Burnley to secure the Lions a home quarter-final clash with Tranmere.
His one-month loan stay at The Den is due to expire next week.