Before limping off
After 2 weeks off for the international break, it's unsurprising that injuries are cropping up with 3 matches in 7 days. Shortly after David Ngog returned to action, Jay Spearing looks to be taking his place on the treatment table. The young midfielder had to come off after just 16 minutes in Bolton's depressing loss to Birmingham City. It now looks as though he probably won't be available for this weekend's match, an away game against Sheffield Wednesday.
In a press conference earlier today Coyle said,
"Jay Spearing is a huge concern because he came off so early in the game. His calf had tightened up and he wasn't able to get about the pitch the way he would have liked. He will be a big doubt for Saturday but we will give him every chance. He has felt slightly better today (Thursday) and we will wait to see how that progresses.
"The good news is that he had a scan and it showed that there was no major tear. There was just a bit of swelling and hopefully that will get better. We have got two days until Saturday so we will have a look at it."
It does sound as though the injury is not too severe, which is good as Spearing still has a lot to contribute to Bolton. Unfortunately, his obvious replacement Keith Andrews also seems to be less than 100%.
"Keith had the injection into the Achilles during the international break, and I have to say that I thought he did well the other night. It looks as though that is now settling down, which is good because we know there is a lot more to come from Keith."
With that in mind he didn't do too badly at all on Tuesday. Coyle also gave a general health update,
"There will be the bumps and bruises from Tuesday but the rest of the squad should be fit and available
"David has done well in the two matches and what we have tried to do is gradually build him up, game by game. He had 60 minutes against Watford and it was similar the other night, so we are hopeful that he is soon able to go and play the duration of a match. It's terrific to have him back in the squad and its players like him that can make a difference."
Chronic injuries were certainly a part of Bolton's abysmal season in the Premiership, and so far they've managed to avoid a similar fate. Maintaining a healthy squad will be absolutely vital this season, especially with the higher number of games. Hopefully Jay Spearing's injury proves to be as minor as Coyle made it sound.