Swansea City have arrived back in England following our jaunt to Cyprus and crucially we have met back up with the internationals who have been jetting around to all corners of the globe.
The brothers Ayew look a little down, they lost their friendly for Ghana against the superstars of Burkina Faso despite Jordan assisting André for a first-half goal. Wilfried Bony’s Ivory Coast fared better with two solid wins, Andy King and Martin Olsson played just 45 minutes in Wales’ and Sweden’s winning friendly efforts respectively.
I’ve got an appointment with the club doctor as the players are put through their paces in a training warm down by Nigel Gibbs.
Jez McClusky is our Chief Doctor and Karl Halabi the Head Physio. Karl joined the club in January 2017 following a spell as Tottenham reserves fitness coach, having had roles with Derby, Reading Watford, Chelsea and Fulham.
Our first choice right-back was injured against Portsmouth in the FA Cup on 17th February. Due to the rough-house tactics of Stuart Pearce’s League One side, Kyle suffered a dislocated shoulder and will be out for another 12 days – 4 weeks, which is quite an unspecific return prediction.
If Wayne didn’t have bad luck when it comes to injuries, he’d have no luck. His preseason was almost non-existent due to a hernia he suffered in April 2017 and then he tore a hamstring against West Ham United in an Under 23 match. Two months later he returned, only to now suffer concussion in the friendly versus Anorthosi. He’s expected back in four days and is under the care of the club doctor.
It might have been a gamble playing four friendlies during the international break and Narsingh has suffered from a twisted ankle when we took on AEK Larnakas, the physio is looking after his recovery but what’s concerning me most is that this is a reoccurrence of the same injury he suffered in the game against Portsmouth, the same one that Routledge was hurt in. He’s expected to be back in six days, ruling him out of Everton on Monday.
The positive is that none of the internationals came back with knocks, that said our Head of Sports Science Eddie Lattimore is banging on about high injury risks based on match fatigue and tactical intensity to no less than 16 players. I’m not too concerned about Eddie’s view, we’re down 19% on injuries compared to what we would expect and we’re only tenth in the injury table. Interestingly four players haven’t had a day off injured all season; Andy King, Tammy Abraham, Tom Carroll and Federico Fernández. Add in the likes of van der Hoorn, Olsson, Roque Mesa, Sam Clucas, Fabianski, both Ayew brothers, Leroy Fer and Wilfried Bony all having spent less than 10% of their season on the sidelines, it’s no surprise we’ve come on strong at this late stage.
We’ll have the opportunity to further enhance our credentials for a top half Premier League finish as we take on Everton at Goodison Park on Easter Monday, come back tomorrow for the traditional pre-match press conference.