There have been several injury updates (good and bad) as Tony Mowbray gears up for a tough game against Burnley tomorrow afternoon.
Firstly, Tony Mowbray has admitted that Aji Alese will be ruled out until after the World Cup break. The gaffer hopes that the tournament will give Alese time to recover before our return against Millwall on December 3rd: "Aji is in a protective boot but it's not as bad as feared. Best-case scenario is 3-4 weeks."
However, there has been a positive update on Dan Ballard, who was pictured in training at the Academy of Light. Back in October Ballard claimed that his injury rehab was going to plan, and was confident of making a full recovery as soon as possible. With the impressive defensive performances of Danny Batth and Luke O'Nien, the former Arsenal man will face tough competition when he inevitably returns to the Matchday squad.
Mowbray had this to say on Ellis Simms: "Ellis won't make the bench for Saturday. We're hoping that he'll join the group for training starting Monday. He's been on the grass in his boots for a week now, but in a controlled environment with the physios. The uncontrolled stuff, when he's just joining in with the players and he's not being careful with his twisting and turning or anything, starts Monday. That'll be the final test for him and if he overcomes that he should potentially be available for the trip to Luton - that's the trip that we should be aiming for I think. We've spoken a lot with Ellis and player welfare will always be at the forefront. We need him back but the right thing to do is to go through with the processes. If he gets through a full week of training then he could be ready to make the bench or even a start knowing that he won't then complete 90 minutes. But we won't take risks - we have a long way to go this season and we need Ellis to be fit for most of it."
And on Gooch and Trai Hume: "I think Lynden has got a chance, we're hoping that he gets his boots on Friday and comes out to train with us. Everyone I think knows that if Lynden has got half a chance to play, he'll be out there. I'm hopeful, though as I sit here now [Thursday afternoon] he hasn't yet trained. He still feels the injury but it's improving every day and so we'll see how he goes on the grass tomorrow."
"I've just spoken to Trai, my players know that my door is always open, that's what I'm here for. I will always give them my thoughts, listen to them, explain my logic. I thought he did alright at Blackburn, we were chasing the game when he came on and so he wasn't really just playing right back, he was trying to drive inside to buy Patrick Roberts some time and space, he was basically operating as an eight. He applied himself well. He's done well in training but the negative for him is I haven't seen much of him starting on the right of a back four. I like his personality and I like what he brings in training, I've said to him that if Goochy is fit he is likely to get in the side. If he isn't, then Trai has got every chance."