'Not good' - Bristol City handed new injury blow as pair suffer setback ahead of Middlesbrough clash

The Bristol City boss gave a mixed injury update ahead of Middlesbrough
Liam Manning has been dealt a long-term injury blow. Bristol City will be without one of their highly-rated stars. (Image: Getty Images)Liam Manning has been dealt a long-term injury blow. Bristol City will be without one of their highly-rated stars. (Image: Getty Images)
Liam Manning has been dealt a long-term injury blow. Bristol City will be without one of their highly-rated stars. (Image: Getty Images)

Liam Manning has revealed that Bristol City midfielder Ayman Benarous has suffered a big setback in his quest to return from back-to-back ACL injury's.

Benarous was closing in on a return to action in December last year before he suffered a return of the injury, and just as he was making strides to get back onto the pitch this time around, it appears he will face another lengthy spell out.

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When quizzed on the talent's ongoing recovery return, Manning gave an unwelcome update: "Not good. He's going to be out for a considerable amount of time. He's had a big setback, so unfortunately we won't be seeing him for quite a while.

"I'll go into a bit more detail (on the injury) next week as he's still clarifying a few things at the minute, but it's looking like it will be quite a considerable amount of time."

Rob Atkinson has also been out for a lengthy spell as he battles back from an ACL injury of his own. The defender has been missing since mid-February, and has gradually been making steps to return to action.

Atkinson played 45 minutes for the U21's against Sunderland earlier this month and featured in the club's in-house friendly match last week, but has since suffered a slight set back which will delay his return to the side.

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Manning explained: "Unfortunately Rob has had a little bit of a setback, he's not going to be out for a crazy amount of time but he'll be missing for a few weeks.

"It's disappointing because he looked terrific in the first half that he played, but that's sometimes the case when you've been out for a period of time, you come back and can pick up something else. It's nothing major."

However, it's not all bad news for City. Manning confirmed that midfielder Joe Williams has returned to first team training and is in contention to feature against Middlesbrough.

Williams suffered a hamstring problem in training last month, and is set to return to the side this weekend. The manager also gave a positive update on Nahki Wells, but insisted that the match against Michael Carrick's outfit will come too soon for the Bermudan.

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Manning explained: "Joe has been back in full training, he's much closer and will be available for selection, so that's good news to have him back and available. He's trained well and he gives us a different profile in midfield so it's terrific to have him back.

"Nahki has got a final stage thing appointment week, so we will see how he responds to that and then a decision will be made off the back of that. We need to see how his body reacts but touch wood I'm hoping he'll be back in the near future."

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