Manager on midfielder’s availabilityRoyals midfielder John Swift was due to add another international cap to his collection over the recent period – but injury kept him out of England Under-21 duty against Norway.
Swift was unused from the bench in our win against Cardiff, with a slight hamstring injury putting an element of risk into the mix. But after remaining with the medical team at Hogwood Park, the former Chelsea man has been working hard and could be back in contention for Friday night’s game against Ipswich.
“John is back in training – he has been training with us for the last couple of days and he’s fit,” said manager Jaap Stam on the midfielder.
“Tomorrow he’ll join the group before the game against Ipswich and we’ll make a decision with what to do with him – whether to start or not within the squad. But up to now he’s looking very good.”
There are no fresh injury concerns to contend with – Deniss Rakels remains out for the time being, and Yakou Meite will be nursed steadily back to fitness rather than rushed back to action.
“Deniss has got a bad injury as we know – he had surgery on his ankle,” the gaffer continued. “He is feeling good but it’ll take a while for him to get back into the squad.
“Yakou Meite had an ankle injury and there is a bit of damage on the ligament. We thought it was going to be okay for this period, but it seems that the injury will need a bit more time to get back into shape – perhaps another couple of weeks.
“That’s very difficult for him as he is a young player and he wants to play every time – he wants to train and to show himself to the club and to the fans. But we need to be careful with young players and give them time to get their fitness and back to the squad. He has got plenty of time to prove himself.”
Five players went out to play for their nations at senior level during the break – and the gaffer is pleased to report that Stephen Quinn, Paul McShane, Chris Gunter, Sandro Wieser and Garath McCleary are all reporting back to the club in good condition.
“It’s nice for every player to play for their country, and they want to do well – especially during qualifiers they want to play and get results,” the manager said. “And for us, we want to make sure that they get back into the squad fit to play in the next game.”