Aheadof Blackburn clash McKenna announced  Ipswich young talented star as  heavy  replacement of  Burns  due to Serious Injury…

Town boss Kieran McKenna has confirmed that winger Wes Burns’s hamstring injury is not a short-term injury but says the Wales international won’t require surgery, while decisions will be made on whether Kieffer Moore and Cameron Burgess will be able to start at Blackburn on Good Friday and George Hirst is back on the grass after his hamstring injury, but Brandon Williams remains at Manchester United.


At his pre-match press conference, McKenna was asked whether there are any new injury worries ahead of the trip to Ewood Park.

“We’re OK. From the last game, we obviously lost Wes. He’s seen the specialist now. As we suspected, it’s certainly not a short-term injury to his hamstring, but no surgery required and he’s doing OK,” he said.

“So we’ll have it rescanned in a week or so and we’ll know a lot more than about how long the recovery’s going to be.

“It’s a challenging time in terms of the international week. We’ve had Cameron [Burgess] playing on the other side of the world [in Australia], we’ve had Jeremy [Sarmiento] playing in New York, we’ve had the Welsh boys going through an emotional 120 minutes last night, in Kieffer [Moore]’s case, so that’s a challenge.

“We had the whole group back in today apart from Cameron, he’ll return to the training ground tomorrow, so we’ll make the best of the cards that are in front of us and prepare as well as we can for the game and get the whole group back together and make sure we’re going into Friday in a really good place.”

Might Burns be back before the end of the season? “It’s a wait and see. It’s not impossible but it’s a long way from guaranteed either. It really is a case of wait and see.


Training Ground Guru | Clarity, intensity & fun: Playing under Kieran  McKenna at Ipswich

“The positive news was that there was no surgery required or anything like that but in terms of his availability within this season, it’s a really a case of waiting for the next scan.”

Reflecting on the wideman’s season, McKenna added: “His first campaign playing regularly in the Championship and I know that was a big thing for him, even speaking to him two seasons ago.

That was a big goal for him, to get back to that level and show that he could compete at that level. And again, like so many others, he’s done that this season.

“Of course, he’s disappointed to be missing a big run of games now. We’re disappointed not to have him. But there’s a lot of football to be played, so there’s certainly no time for looking backwards.


“But I know in the summer, he, like so many others, will be able to look back with pride.

“But that’s not the focus now. The focus now is everybody getting ready for the games ahead.

“In Wes or George Hirst’s case, the focus is getting back available as soon as possible to try and hopefully be able to help the team at some stage.”

Regarding Moore and Nathan Broadhead, whose Wales side missed out on a place at Euro 2024 following a penalty shootout loss to Poland in Cardiff last night, McKenna added: “They were both in today and they’re, of course, disappointed with the outcome, but that’s football when it goes to penalty shootouts, you know it can go either way.

“It was good to see them both today, they’re both disappointed with the outcome of last night but both looking forward to what we have coming up here, two good games, two important games and both happy to be back in with the group today.”

Moore played 120 minutes before netting his spot-kick and McKenna says a decision will be made on whether the on-loan AFC Bournemouth man can start on Friday.

“We’ll have to make a judgement call on that and speak with Kieffer as well,” the Blues boss said.

“He’s a very robust man, both physically and mentally, and he always wants to be available for the team and he’s an important player for the team.

“On the other hand, last night didn’t go how he or we would have wanted, we would have wanted fewer minutes and Wales going through and he would have wanted Wales going through.

“We’ll speak with him over the next day or so, we’ll try and make the right decision for Friday night, give the team the best chance to win, but also knowing that from Friday I think we’ve got five games in 15 days and a really busy and important spell coming up, so it’ll have to be a judgement call made a little bit closer to the game.”

The situation is similar with Burgess following his time away in Australia winning two World Cup qualifiers against Lebanon and the lengthy travel that involves.

“That’s another judgement call to make,” McKenna continued. “He’s not back in the UK yet, he arrives back in the UK this evening.



“He had an easier game and a less emotional game, but he’s had a lot of travel to do.

“Again we’ll make the right decision for Friday night but also the right decision for the team over the next period.”

Loanee full-back Williams was in court at the end of last week for an alleged driving offence, which dates back to just prior to his time with the Blues.

Williams has been back at Manchester United since just after Christmas and McKenna says the situation remains the same.

“I think it hasn’t really changed in that it’s out of our hands,” he said. “Brandon’s a Man United player, he’s been back at Man United for the last few months and there has to be a certain level of readiness for him to come back here and be ready to contribute, and if he doesn’t reach that readiness before the end of the season, then he won’t return.

“And if he was able to reach that readiness, then it would be another option for us towards the end of the season.

“There’s not really any change from our point of view on that at the moment, he’s not available and ready to return.

“He’s a player who doesn’t belong to our club as such, so it’s a matter for Man United at the moment.”

Janoi Donacien remains sidelined with the groin injury which has kept the St Lucia international out since the start of November.

“No particularly good news to report in terms of progress,” McKenna said. “He’s working really hard to overcome the issue but he’s still experiencing discomfort in the area, so no change and he’s continuing to review it with the medical team.”

However, there is better news regarding striker George Hirst, who underwent surgery after suffering a hamstring injury on Boxing Day.

“George Hirst has started on the grass this week,” he said. “So that’s always a good step for a player to get the boots on and feel the grass and he’ll be happier for that.

“He can really get his head down now and start to build up his conditioning and, of course, the strength in his hamstring and start to integrate a little bit with the coaching staff, which are all positive steps.”

Midfielder Lewis Travis isn’t eligible against Blackburn, his parent club.

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