17 July 2024

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Blow as Town confirm star keeper Walton out for ‘months rather than weeks’

 

Ipswich Town keeper Christian Walton will miss ‘quite a while’ with a foot injury <i>(Image: Ross Halls)</i>

Ipswich Town keeper Christian Walton will miss ‘quite a while’ with a foot injury (Image: Ross Halls)

Ipswich Town have suffered a major blow on the eve of the new Championship campaign with the news that star keeper Christian Walton will miss ‘months rather than weeks’ with an injury.

 

Walton, last season’s League One golden glove winner, has a tear to the plantar fascia in his foot.

 

Boss Kieran McKenna confirmed the news at this afternoon’s press conference, saying the keeper will be out for ‘quite a while.’

 

He explained: “It’s going to be more like a few months than a few weeks.”

 

That leaves back-up Vaclav Hladky as Town’s number one for the trip to Sunderland on Sunday and the forseeable future, with summer signing Cieran Slicker as his back-up.

 

McKenna said: “Of course, it’s a blow for Christian, because he was really looking forward to the season and testig himself again at this level.

 

“Any team would miss Christian’s qualities. But Vas has been terrific for us on and off the pitch in the last 18 months.

 

“He played in my first game, showed his qualities, kept a clean sheet. I thought he was terrific in pretty much every game last season.

 

“He’s got his own qualities and his own strengths that he brings to the team, and he showed them last season, he shows them ever day in training and he’s an important member of the group.

 

“That’s football, you have injuries, you have setbacks over the course of the season and that’s why we have a squad and a goalkeeping department, so that others are ready to step in.”

 

 

Asked if there was a timeframe for Walton to return, he replied: “It’s a longer term one.

 

“He’s had a tear in his plantar fascia, which is a really strange injury for any footballer to get, and certainly for a goalkeeper.

 

“It is what it is. He’s getting the best care and treatment. He’s been to see the specialist and there’s no surgery required.

 

“It’s just a matter of rest and no doubt Christian will come back stronger – and no doubt that as a team we’ll be absolutely fine.”

 

There was better news for the other players battling injury. McKenna confirmed that Nathan Broadhead, Massimon Luongo and Harry Clarke are all back in training.

 

Clarke is suspended for the first game, but winger Broadhead and midfielder Luongo could be involved.

 

McKenna said: “They’re all available to travel. We’re going to bring a few extra because we’ve had some niggles, so we’ll bring a few extra up to Sunderland and we’ll make the decision if not Sunday, then after training tomorrow.

 

“But they’ve all returned to training this week, so that’s a big positive.”

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