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Injury Latest

15 April 2014

Update from the treatment room

Manager Nigel Adkins has spoken about the full extent of our current injury list, and will wait and see on Jordan Obita's fitness after the youngster came off against Leicester with a calf problem.

In addition, he admits that ideally Garath McCleary would have a period of rest at the moment, but the Royals cannot afford to be without him at this stage of the season.

Danny Williams and Wayne Bridge are managing knee injuries, while Mikele Leigertwood has been rushed back and is now suspended on Friday.

To his credit, the boss has kept his cards close to his chest when asked about injuries this season, and when asked by the press after the game last night, he said, "I've done all I can not to complain about injuries because they happen at every club. You have to deal with it.

"We went into the game playing chess, knowing we'll get an hour out of this person or half an hour out of some, then in the game we had to make three subs because of injuries. 

"Jordan was injured, you could see him limping. I was going to make a different change, we left it five minutes and asked him if he was OK but he said he couldn't stay on. It looks like a calf injury, so will he be OK for the other games? We'll have to wait and see. He's been outstanding this season."

Also withdrawn was Garath McCleary, who has been managing an injury for a number of weeks now. The boss explained, "With Garath, we're playing him and not playing him, then he's training and not training, we're doing everything we can - and so is he - to make him available and be effective.

"The easy thing would be to say 'there you go, have a few weeks off' but we just can't afford that. We've got to keep pushing as much as we can, with all the players. On his day, Garath is so, so effective and can make a massive contribution."

Danny Williams missed the Bournemouth game but returned to play an hour against City, and Adkins commented, "By the time he got to 60 minutes you could see Dean Hammond was running off him, he'd get forward but couldn't stay with his man in the other direction. He'd blown up, and I don't know how his knee will react now. 

"That's the problem with Bridgey too, several players. It's a case of seeing how much we can get from them, knowing there's a risk they can break down."

Mikele Leigertwood is playing earlier than the boss would ideally like, and was perhaps harshly sent off with two yellows for his only two tackles in the game.

Adkins said, "Ledge has been rushed back, he's been out a year, and to ask him to be a monumental player is a big ask. He's been outstanding in his rehab, his character, he came on and did well, then got a second yellow and I was unhappy with the throw-in we took to put him in that situation. It's a shame he's out of the next game, because that's an area we're being tested in big time. And I can't speak highly enough of him.

"Hope Akpan did a bit of training after the game on Monday night, see if we can get him somewhere near for Friday. We're rushing people back.

"The next two weeks, if someone picks up an injury, that potentially runs it really, really tight. Danny Guthrie for example with his calf injury.

"We've got several players, and when they cross the white line everyone is expecting them to be 100% fit, I can assure you that's not been the case. Everyone just has to keep going and be there for the cause."

But despite the injuries, as always the boss is upbeat and positive about the final throes of the season.

"It's going to be really exciting. All the games are going to be great, and everything's going to be on it. When you look at the teams in the play-offs, Derby have cemented it, QPR were in the Premier League last season, Wigan as well and then ourselves. Teams are right in the mix with good managers.

"I said at the start of the season the team with the biggest fittest squad at this stage will give themselves a chance. We are still in there despite the injuries, you know me I'm passionate about things, love football and want us to do well."

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