Striker crisis for injury-hit Town
MARCUS Stewart left hospital this morning with two plates in his jaw but has already pencilled in a return to training within a fortnight.The 29-year-old striker underwent surgery yesterday but was last night in relatively good spirits and more upset at the team's 2-1 home defeat by Bolton than the pain he was enduring.
MARCUS Stewart left hospital this morning with two plates in his jaw but has already pencilled in a return to training within a fortnight.
The 29-year-old striker underwent surgery yesterday but was last night in relatively good spirits and more upset at the team's 2-1 home defeat by Bolton than the pain he was enduring.
He said: "The doctor has told me I can train in about ten days.
"I can go running, shooting practice and weights and swimming, obviously I can't do any contact stuff but I will get even fitter and sharper which is a good thing."
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Stewart fractured his jaw in two places after an accidental collision with Pablo Counago on Saturday morning as the team prepared for their clash with Bolton Wanderers.
Stewart said: "Pablo came to see me and was very upset, but it was just one of those things. We both made a wrong decision, I made the decision to head the ball he decided to boot it and caught me instead."
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Ipswich manager George Burley was today facing a mounting injury crisis ahead of Thursday's UEFA Cup meeting with Inter Milan after French winger Ulrich Le Pen joined Stewart, Finidi George and Alun Armstrong on the long term Portman Road casualty list.
Le Pen, a £1.5million signing from French club Lorient in midweek, needed nine stitches in a cut to his foot after being stretchered off just 12 minutes after coming on as a late substitute against Bolton.
Initially it appeared the Frenchman may have broken his left ankle after his foot connected with the studs of Michael Ricketts, who had blocked his shot, after treating for the gash he will later be examined for any broken bones but will be out for at least a month.
"It was a big blow losing Marcus yesterday and that is three key attacking players missing now, but that is football.
"Sometimes it goes like that. Last year we didn't have many injuries, but this season is the opposite."
Nigerian striker George is recuperating well but is still at least three weeks away from a return.
Town have no immediate plans to find a replacement and a hoped for loan deal with Inter Milan for Hakan Suker is unlikely after the striker said although he fancies a move to the Premiership he would not join either Town or Fulham, and Blackburn are favourites to land him.