Date: 18th October 2006 at 9:12am
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Blackburn Rovers manager Mark Hughes is hoping for double joy for the New Year with him hoping to have Ryan Nelsen and Steven Reid back in January.

Nelsen’s long standing hamstring injury has seen him sidelined all season thus far, with Reid limited to only three appearances before his injury was finally diagnosed as a stress fracture in one of the vertebrates on Tuesday.

Speaking to Sky Sports Hughes said:

Obviously it’s very, very disappointing for Steven and the squad as a whole because he was a very significant player for us last year.

You could argue we’ve lost our two most influential players this season with the long-term injury to Ryan Nelsen as well.

So we’ve coped very, very well with their absence. Obviously ideally we would prefer them to be available but we’ll hope to have them back in January.

It will be January we hope. It’s difficult to put a real timescale on it, but that’s the indication we’ve got.”

Let’s hope Hughes is right, although I feel having Reid back that soon may be asking too much Nelsen on the other hand you would very much hope he will be back.

Reid himself, when speaking in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph said:

I’ve had it for a little while but I thought it was just a stiff back to be honest. It’s turned out to be a lot worse.

It’s a stress fracture in one of the vertebrates.

It basically means six to eight weeks rest and then hopefully the stress fracture will have healed and then I’ve got about another six to eight weeks to get fit again.

It’s a bit of a nightmare.

I’ve never really been injured before in my career. A couple of years ago I broke my metatarsal and I had a pin put in.

But then I was only out for eight weeks. This time I can’t do anything at all for eight weeks. It’s hard to have an injury when you can’t even go to the gym and keep your fitness up.

It’s really frustrating but I’ve got to get it right.”

Reid’s own comments seem to suggest that a January return may well be pushing it with the February date first given looking a more realistic target.

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