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No Rush For Lee But Dempsey Desperate To Play

Midfielder to miss rest of season as boss aims to extend unbeaten run at Doncaster

15 April 2022

Kieran Lee has been stood down for the rest of the season but midfield colleague Kyle Dempsey is ‘desperate’ to see some action before the end of the campaign.

Play-maker Lee hasn’t figured since mid-February and surgery to clear up a heel problem and he will now be given until pre-season to resume training.

But with four games to go, Dempsey may return from a hamstring injury to play a part in Wanderers’ run-in.

“Kyle is improving all the time,” confirmed boss Ian Evatt.

“He’s desperate to be involved but, again, we’ll have a look at it with a kind of risk and reward scenario and see where we’re at.”

Kieran Lee goal.jpg

Dempsey missed last Saturday’s fightback against Sheffield Wednesday with a hamstring problem, when Dapo Afolayan was only fit enough to sit on the bench.

Top scorer Afolayan is available to face Doncaster Rovers today (Friday) and Declan John has also shaken off a knock to make the trip to South Yorkshire.

But skipper Ricardo Almeida Santos has already been ruled out for the rest of the season and has been joined on the sidelines by Lee.

“We’ve taken that decision with Kieran,” added Evatt. “Nothing has really gone wrong with the heel.

“But the level of healing, especially around the wound, has taken time.

“There’s no point in rushing him back now, it’s kind of a re-set button for him and the first day of pre-season we’ll crack on.”

Josh Sheehan is also expected back at the start of pre-season training in June as he continues his successful recovery from knee surgery, while another long-term midfield absentee – Andrew Tutte – made a welcome return to training on Thursday after missing most of the season with thigh and calf injuries.

Andrew-Tutte.jpg

“It was great to see him. The lads gave him a round of applause, which was lovely,” said Evatt.

“He’s a fantastic pro and a great lad and it’s good to have him back.”

With two games in four days over the Easter weekend, Evatt may rest and rotate within his squad to try keep his players fresh and firing.

After the Good Friday trip to Doncaster Rovers – second from bottom of League One and fighting to try and beat the drop – Wanderers entertain Accrington Stanley on Easter Monday.

And Evatt still has targets in mind for his side, which is currently 11th in the table and undefeated in four games after fighting back to take points from three successive draws.

“We challenged the players to try and stay unbeaten for the remainder of the season,” added Evatt.

“We did that a couple of weeks ago and they’ve managed to do that so far.

“That has to be our aim and target and pick up as many points as we possibly can.

“If we can finish in the top 10 that will be great and will be a huge achievement, I think, from where this club was two years ago.

“That’s our aim and ambition and it looks like, from a professional point of view, we’re going to have a big say in the relegation battle, which is also important.”

Watch the manager’s pre-match interview HERE and to watch the game (KO 3pm) live on iFollow see the details HERE

 


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