Kenwyne Jones has shaken off fears of a lengthy Cardiff City layoff – and could be fit to face Leeds United next week.
But the Bluebirds will again have to be without their star striker for Saturday’s clash with Ipswich as the powerful forward admits he is itching to return and boost their promotion bid.
Jones had prompted worries he could face considerable time on the sidelines when he returned from international duty with Trinidad and Tobago earlier this month on crutches . There were some initial concerns the 31-year-old had broken his leg after a collision with a goalkeeper in the Soca Warrior’s 0-0 draw with Nicaragua.
X-rays soon confirmed the injury wasn’t as bad as first suggested but Cardiff have had to bide their time before getting a full assessment of the former Southampton, Sunderland and Stoke frontman’s fitness.
Now, with the swelling reduced over the shin area affected by the challenge, Bluebirds boss Russell Slade has received the encouraging news Jones can return to training with a target of being involved in Tuesday’s Championship clash at Elland Road.
Yet there will be no chance of Jones making the trip to Portman Road this weekend, where Cardiff seek to put their attacking issues aside against Mick McCarthy’s side.
Cardiff have struggled for goals in Jones’ absence – only the own goal of Middlesbrough’s George Friend coming their way in the past three games – but Slade said: “Of course Kenwyne is an important member of the squad, and has shown his scoring touch for us this season. We’re keen to get him back to full fitness as soon as possible, but must be cautious not to rush things so as not to cause any additional damage.
“He picked up the injury during the last international break with Trinidad and Tobago when he collided with the opposition keeper.
“It is a soft tissue injury to his shin, but he didn’t break a bone, so it isn’t as serious as it could have been. He won’t be in contention for the trip to Ipswich on Saturday; however, we hope that he could travel with the group to face Leeds if he continues to progress.”
Head of medical Hywel Griffiths added: “Kenwyne is progressing really well already. He started to run on the grass yesterday and is progressing well with that individual training work. He should be back in full training on Sunday.”