Grimsby Town boss gives update on return of attacking duo

Paul Hurst has stressed the importance of patience with the soon-to-return attacking duo of Otis Khan and Donovan Wilson with both needing extended time to get to true match sharpness.

Neither player has featured in a competitive game yet this season with both picking up their injuries in pre-season, which has also seen them both miss out on some of the crucial work that goes on in the build-up to a campaign with regard to fitness and tactical awareness.

Both are expected to return to some form of actual training soon, but the road to recovery does not stop there, as they will need to be gradually reintroduced into the squad as Hurst explains.

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He said: “Even once they get back training, because of the time they have been out, they’ve both only had small bits of pre-season, the expectation around their readiness will have to be managed both internally and externally.

“They might end up being named in a squad but the reality may be that they’ll only be able to come on for a short amount of time. That’s better than where we’re currently at but they won’t be ready for selection in the starting line-up as soon as they’ve recovered.”

The constant match action Town have had to start the season has meant Hurst has been in line many times to answer questions about the recovery timeline of his injured players so far. There is added importance on the return of the mentioned players due to the lack of backup options available in those areas at this time.

Donovan Wilson scores for the Mariners during the pre-season friendly between Grimsby Town and Hull City at Blundell Park
Donovan Wilson scores for the Mariners during the pre-season friendly between Grimsby Town and Hull City at Blundell Park

Grimsby were hit with the bad news that winger Charles Vernam will be out until the new year with a serious muscle tear that requires surgery which has created some anxiety over the attacking positions and whether the team have enough.

The wait has felt long for Khan and Wilson’s returns but Hurst believes they are not far off the time they had first expected them both to be back.

He added: “By the time they return, we might have been waiting a week longer than expected with each of them but in the grand scheme of things, that isn’t that long. It’s more the fact we have seen them yet in competitive action.

“That makes it feel like it is dragging on longer and also maybe because of the midweek games adding to the times I get asked about them makes it feel like it is longer but we’re hoping it is not too long before they’re ready.

Original story at https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/sport/

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