The Imps injury record has been well documented; from Ben House to Tyler Walker, Reeco Hackett to Jack Vale, we’ve been beset by injuries.
Usually, questions around those players have not been asked, possibly because they wouldn’t have been answered, but with Tom Shaw comes a bit of transparency that gives supporters some indication of when players could be back. Of course, there’s no hard and fast rule, and there’s never absolute clarity, not even for the player, but we are now a little more aware of the situation with Ben, Tyler and Reeco.
Thanks to an enlightening pre-match interview with our caretaker boss, we know that one of the long-term absentees might not be too far away. However, he started by clarifying the situation around Ben House.
“Ben will be longer term,” he said when asked by Micahel Hortin. “Hopefully, on the turn of the year, we’ll start to see him on and around the grass.”
That means it’s likely we could see him towards February next year, maybe. Who knows, as there’s a long way to go. It seems Ben has had an operation, and his return to the team is absolutely going to be in 2024. However, the same is not the case for our big summer signing, Tyler Walker.
“Tyler will be sooner – we’ve got to get him back out on the grass ready to show robustness, get a string of games together and get his flow going.
“It’s not going to be tomorrow, but it’s coming; he is putting so much effort in in the gym. You can see every day he’s getting himself in the best physical condition for his return to training, which is just around the corner.”
‘Just around the corner’, which suggests possibly a return to the fold before the Christmas period. It would be a huge boost to get Tyler back in the team. He hadn’t really settled since his summer transfer, but we know what you can get with a fit Tyler Walker – goals. We’re not short of attacking intent at the minute, not over the last 180 minutes or so, but to have another fit striker will be a massive boost, giving Tom, or whoever comes in, the chance to change things around.
Sadly, one of the promising stars of the season so far, Reeco, is out for a short period.
“It’s a medium-term injury,” added Tom. “He will be out for a little period. His mentality means he will come back in a good place.”
That’s the bad news, but the good news is Ted Bishop should be fit and ready to make the trip to Exeter after missing out this week against Charlton. We know Jack Vale, a seemingly terrier-like player, is edging closer to a start, and that gives us options. The trip to Devon is the final game of Danny Mandroiu’s ban, and he’ll be expected around the team on Tuesday against Oxford United.
The games are coming thick and fast, and every hour puts distance between a tough period for the club and a promising future. Hopefully, as the light at the end of the tunnel continues to get brighter, players get fitter, and this really talented squad can begin to trouble the top ten of League One.