Price adds to Town's injury woes

MORE injury misery hit Ipswich Town today with news that goalkeeper Lewis Price is a doubt for Monday's Championship match at Cardiff City.

By Elvin King

By ELVIN KING

MORE injury misery hit Ipswich Town today with news that goalkeeper Lewis Price is a doubt for Monday's Championship match at Cardiff City.

The 21-year-old, who signed a new three-year contract last week, has undergone an x-ray that has revealed a chipped bone in his finger.

Added to the fractured right ankle suffered by striker Sam Parkin and a hefty blow on the foot that is causing pain to Sito Castro, Town manager Joe Royle today vowed never to boast again about having a full squad.

Price made his full international debut in Cyprus last week and he suffered his injury while training with Wales this autumn.

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He has carried the injury for some while, and it delayed his first full cap for the Welsh.

“Lewis is under quite a lot of discomfort and we will assess the situation before our next game,” said Royle. “We have not ruled him out of Monday's match and will see how things go over the weekend.”

Ipswich have Shane Supple standing by with the 18-year-old hot prospect already starting two games this season when Price suffered previous injuries.

Sito is in the wars after taking a heavy blow on his foot against Reading in the 3-0 home Championship defeat on Tuesday. The Spanish full back's ankle is swollen and the extra couple of days before the next game will give him more time to improve.

Royle added: “I opened my mouth this week about our full bill of health and look what happened?

“I will not tempt fate again. We were at full strength for 17 minutes and the score was 0-0 against Reading before Sam had to come off.

“It looks like being a while before we have all our top players available again as our injury-hit season continues.”

Meanwhile, Town face a race against time to bring in a new striker before tonight's transfer deadline.

Parkin will be out of action for four months after suffering a fractured ankle in the defeat by league leaders Reading. He had an operation last night to insert screws into the break.

Royle will be exploring every avenue to bring in a loan front man before the emergency transfer window closes.

If Royle has no joy today, Town will have to wait until January 1 to bring in any newcomers.

Parkin, Town's leading scorer with five goals, had x-rays yesterday and a fracture of his right ankle was diagnosed. If he needs an operation he will be out for up to four months, otherwise it will be a minimum of eights weeks before he can play again.

“Sam will be seen by a specialist and this will determine whether he needs an operation,” said Royle.

“He has not scored as many times as we would perhaps have liked but he is our first choice striker and has netted vital away goals.

“Big Sam will be missed and I would not rule out a loan signing today. But it is unlikely, as we only have a few hours and it is hard enough finding a striker if you have money and a capacity to purchase.”

Front man Adam Proudlock is making good progress from a jarred knee and is hoping to train with the first team squad on Saturday. If so, he will come into contention for the visit to Wales for a Cardiff match that is being shown live on satellite television.

There is also a case for pushing Richard Naylor up front. Town's longest-serving player played for nearly an hour in attack against Reading.

Parkin said: “I left the ground on crutches but it was murder when I went to bed and the ankle had swollen right up.

“A specialist will decide on whether I need surgery or not, but I am expecting the worst.

“I am not sure how it happed exactly. I was caught by a defender and then got my studs stuck in the pitch when I turned. It is my first break so I am not sure what the recovery time is.”

Dean Bowditch scored for the reserves at Charlton last night, and Royle re-affirmed that he still has every confidence in the 19-year-old who has not scored in the Town first team for over a year.

“I have not lost faith in Dean,” added Royle. “He is a bright lad and has the necessary talent. We need him to kick on quickly.”

Bowditch was omitted from the final squad for the Reading game, but could be back as Nicky Forster's strike partner against Cardiff.

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