Date: 19th November 2009 at 2:25pm
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Bit of band news for left-back Freddie Bouma. According to the Express & Star Wilf has hurt his toe.

MON told the paper that the toe injury is a set back but at least it isn’t the old ankle injury which has kept him out for over a season now.

‘It’s this toe problem that’s kept him out the last few weeks. It’s prevented him from doing anything. He is unable to train at the minute but it is far from a long-term injury. When you think you are well on the road to recovery every setback seems to be more pronounced.’

Apparently James Collins who picked up a groin injury and Emile Heskey with his bad back are close to returning for our game v Burnley.

Meanwhile MON has I’m afraid fallen into cliché hell here saying that the return to fitness of Stuart Downing will be like ‘getting a new player’ !!!

He told Lisa Smith of the Mail that he is excited to see the player back in training.

‘It’s the footballer’s worst nightmare. Injury-wise the one thing players, particularly young players, hate is medium or long-term injuries. It knocks your spirit but, interestingly, his has been very, very positive throughout all of this and that helps.’

He is now able to play a bit of footie but they won’t take the injury recovery for granted and aren’t putting any dates on his return although it could be before Christmas.

Be fascinating to see where he plays, MON has hinted he could be given a central role (he said that he thinks Downing could give Gareth Barry a run for his money in the centre for England) but also last week there were hints that James Milner could have a central role indicating maybe Downing will remain on the wing?

There is also a chance of the odd training ground match before introducing him to a reserves game or two.

‘The great thing about those games is that we can put them on as we feel fit. There will be no obstacle in terms of getting games other than gaining just a bit of match fitness. He will be getting fitter with each day.’

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