Stewart aiming to be back for Charlton

IPSWICH striker Marcus Stewart is aiming to get back into action in the New Year and has set his sights on returning in the Premiership match against Charlton Athletic.

IPSWICH striker Marcus Stewart is aiming to get back into action in the New Year and has set his sights on returning in the Premiership match against Charlton Athletic.

In his regular column in the Green Un he also talks about the freak training ground injury which resulted in him suffering a broken jaw.

A LOT has happened since I last spoke to you all.

It's been a very frustrating period for me after I broke my jaw on November 17 while training for the Bolton game.

But the good news is that things are on the mend and I've already set my target for a comeback.

If things go well, I hope to be back for the Charlton game on New Year's Day.

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That's what I'm aiming for and I'm working hard to keep my general fitness up. This week, I got back into training, but of course I have to be careful at the moment as my jaw is still wired up.

It was a freak accident which led to my injury. We were playing a five-a-side and the ball was up in the air between me and Pablo Counago.

We were both battling for possession and I have kicked it against Pablo's chest. I've then gone to header the ball and Pablo was aiming to clear it with his foot when the collision happened.

I knew straight away that I had broken my jaw and just walked off the field. It was just one of those things and sometimes it happens. I don't blame Pablo whatsoever. He flet gutted about the whole thing and saw me later with Sixto Peralta to make sure I was OK.

This is not the first time I've suffered a facial injury. In my time at Bristol Rovers, I broke my nose twice and made a full recovery. To be honest, the hardest thing about it all is the frustration of not being able to play.

This time, the injury was fracture of the inside of the cheekbone and a double fracture of the chin. The operation to repair the damage was carried out the day after I sustained the injury. I was in the operating theatre at Ipswich Hospital for three hours.

A big date for me is December 10 because that is when the wire braces in my jaw are taken out. It was really strange getting used to the wire at first, but now I'm used to it.

But it will be great to get the wire removed and that means I will be able to start doing a lot more things to get myself ready for my return to the Premiership. At the moment, it feels like I can do only three-quarters of the job. I try to do as much as I can, but obviously I need to be careful.

The Charlton game is currently my target, but that could clearly change. We'll just have to see how it goes.

After the injury there was a lot of pain, but that has worn off. Fortunately, I can talk properly and I know everyone around me has been so chuffed about that.

As I say, it's the watching from the sidelines which I find so difficult. I'm not the best of spectators and, of course, at the moment I have to be careful not to shout too much!

I want to thank all you brilliant fans out there who have sent messages to me at the Green 'Un and Portman Road. Everyone has been great since the injury happened and your support is much appreciated. Thanks again.

Now all I want to do is get better and help the boys climb up the Premiership. We have been drawing too many games this season and it's been difficult to get any sort of run going.

We always knew it was going to be a difficult time for us in our second season back in the Premiership, but now we have to be prepared to battle to get the points.

I can't wait for the moment when I get given the all-clear to play again so I can start doing my bit for the team.

As well as the frustration of not being able to play in the Premiership, it was a massive disappointment for me to miss our big UEFA Cup match at Portman Road against Inter Milan.

When the draw was made, I couldn't wait to face them. But when I got injured, I knew I was out of the match.

It also means I won't be able to play in the second leg at the San Siro. Again, I can't describe how disappointing that is.

However, the lads did a wonderful job against the Italians in the first leg and I was so pleased for Alun Armstrong when he came off the bench to score the winner. What a goal it was too!

Alun's had a hard time recently with a virus and he was over the moon to score like that.

But his goal puts us in a good position for the second leg and there's no reason why we can't go out there and shock Inter Milan again.

I haven't been travelling to all the away games because of my injury. The other night I was keeping up to date with our Worthington Cup clash against Newcastle via the radio and TV. It was a disappointing result, but I was so pleased for Darren Bent to score our goal.

However, although I haven't been travelling, I'll be going to the San Siro to cheer the lads on. Even though I won't be playing, I can't wait to see the San Siro.

We have a good away record in the UEFA Cup this season and it would be superb if we could get the result we need at the San Siro.

Marcus Bent (great first name!) has joined us from Blackburn and I'm looking forward to teaming up with him. He is a quick and strong frontman and although he's young, he already has a lot of experience. I haven't had the chance to see too much of Marcus because obviously I haven't been in full training, but he's a great character and I'm sure he'll do well here.

Meanwhile, our other new signing, Ulrich Le Pen, has had a terrible start after his injury against Bolton. What a weekend that was with me getting injured the previous day!

Ulrich will obviously take time to settle in because he has not just moved from a club, he's also moved from another country and that can make it a little harder at the start. He was just so unlucky to get injured like that and I really feel for him.

But there has been some good news recently. Finidi George has recovered from his injury and to have a world class performer like him back is a great boost.

Also making a comeback, although in a different way, is Bryan Hamilton. Again, because I've been injured, I haven't had the chance to work with him closely yet on the field. However, he has a lot of experience and I'm really looking forward to working with him.

Let's hope by the time I get back to full fitness, the lads will have climbed away from the foot of the table.