Nicky boost for the Blues

IPSWICH have been boosted by the news that striker Nicky Forster's planned operation has been cancelled.

IPSWICH have been boosted by the news that striker Nicky Forster's planned operation has been cancelled, writes Mel Henderson.

The 32-year-old was set to undergo exploratory surgery tomorrow after missing Town's last four games with a knee injury.

But boss Joe Royle said: “The surgeon has now decided not to operate and Nicky is back in

training with a view to playing as quickly as possible.

“We are quite happy if he is not going to go under the knife and while it is unlikely he will be ready for Saturday's game at Southampton we are certainly not writing him off at this stage.

“Nicky's knee was inflamed and badly jarred. It's the same one where he had a cartilage operation earlier in the season and there was a reaction.

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“But it's settled down and he trained yesterday with fitness coach Simon Thadani. It will be Thursday before we assess whether he has a chance of playing at the weekend.”

With five-goal top scorer Sam Parkin still recovering from a broken ankle and Adam Proudlock sidelined with an on-going knee problem, a fully-fit Forster would be a massive boost to Royle.

Having rejected a £75,000 offer from Hartlepool for teenage striker Dean McDonald, the Town boss has also knocked back loan bids from Blackpool and Boston for the player.

Royle said: “It's gone quiet. I haven't heard from Hartlepool for a couple of days, although their chairman has been in South Africa and that probably hasn't helped them.

“I think the speculation might have got to Dean a little bit. He wasn't his usual bright self in the reserves last night, although he did have our only three shots of the game.

“It was never a case of us going to Hartlepool and saying 'Do you want to sign Dean McDonald?' He was on loan there and they came back to us, wanting to sign him permanently.

“But as long as he is here he is in contention. He will continue to train with the first team and I hope he settles down and doesn't let the speculation affect him.”

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