In yesterday’s press conference, Mark Kennedy revealed that loan striker Jack Vale is currently with the club and should be training on the grass next week.
The 22-year-old, capped six times by Wales under 21s, was signed on loan in early September, carrying an injury. The plan was for him to integrate slowly, but within days both Ben House and Tyler Walker got injured, leaving us without a striker.
Jack then neared fitness a week or two ago, only to suffer another injury in a training game for Blackburn, setting him back further. Mark Kennedy didn’t want to answer questions on the forward last week, doubtless for fear of tempting fate and Vale gaining another knockback over the weekend.
That hasn’t happened, and finally, we have a nearly fit striker closing in on a first-team return.
“Jack in with us; he came in today (Monday) for the first time,” he said when questioned by BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Beth Pritchard. “He’ll be with the rehab guys for the week, and he’ll join us next week in first-team training.”
When pressed on Jack’s current condition, Mark stressed he had merely suffered a setback rather than a relapse.
“I think he’s in a good place overall; he’s just had a setback. He was well on his way to fitness; he played 50 minutes of a game with his parent club, then played a second game and got a different injury in that.”
Given that new signing Mide Shodipo is also fit and expected to play a role tonight against Wolves Under 21s, it does seem there may be a little glimmer of light at the end of the long, dark, strikerless tunnel that has been September and early October. Quite how bright that light gets remains to be seen!