Bristol City boss Nigel Pearson gives this Alex Scott injury update ahead of Reading clash

The Robins will have to do without the teenager for their Championship clash with Reading this weekend

Bristol City will be without midfielder Alex Scott for an unspecified period after he was injured on international duty, his manager Nigel Pearson has revealed.

Scott picked up a knock in England Under-20’s match with France on Monday. He competed in a challenge and came off second best, requiring treatment from the Three Lions medical staff. The 19-year-old tried to run off the injury but was unable to continue and was eventually substituted.

He returned to the High-Performance Centre on Wednesday and was assessed by City’s medical staff, and the short-term news is that he will be missing this weekend’s clash with Reading. It is the first time this season that he will be unavailable due to injury, after being almost ever-present, missing just one Championship match through suspension.

Pearson said: “It’s just frustrating when you pick other injuries up like Alex Scott, who came off for England the other night. He won’t be available this weekend.

“It’s a minor knee ligament injury but I don’t know what the time frame we’d put on that at the moment. It’s a bit unfortunate for us and certainly, for him, we’ll see.

“We’ll still assess it, he only got back yesterday. He had it scanned, and we’ll see how that develops.”

Scott has played a total of 3,503 minutes across the Championship, Carabao Cup, and FA Cup this season, and has also been on international duty several times. He started two of England’s three matches over the international break, playing 170 minutes in a six-day time frame.

He said: "I understand it, I’ve been a national coach for England, and I know what it is like you want to play your best players. He’s played a lot of football, it’s unfortunate. It’s contact, but sometimes these things happen. There’s no point dwelling on the fact he’s picked up an injury now. I always send our players on international duty with our best wishes."

"In terms of the volume of football, it’s clear that we’ve relied heavily on Alex, and he’s played an awful lot of football in two years. Firstly we’ll have to make sure his knee is okay."

At the end of the 2022/23 season, Scott could be set for involvement on the international stage again should he be fit and allowed to leave by his club. England have qualified for the Under-20 World Cup along with 24 other teams, and with Scott holding aspirations of one day representing the senior team, he will be eager to be involved.

In the present day, however, he will now have to work to be match fit for what is a busy end to the campaign for him and his club. City face Reading this weekend, and then have Stoke City and Middlesbrough over Good Friday and Easter Monday. Scott’s absence is at least covered by Matty James, who could return in the centre of midfield, whilst Tommy Conway is also available.

Pearson has been cautious in his approach when dealing with players returning from injury and has been keen not to rush players back too soon. It is unsure yet whether the knock to his knee could rule Scott out longer than a week, but the stance from Pearson is that despite his importance to the side, he will only be selected once he has been given the all-clear.

"Our priority now is to look after the interests of the player," admitted Pearson. Everything else at the moment is secondary. Him playing for us for instance, he’ll come back not when we need him, but when he’s ready to come back. That is something that is the biggest factor.

"He’s a talented player, he’s been very good for us over the 80-something games he’s played for us. It’s just unfortunate for him, it’s inevitable that players do pick injuries up. The modern game is very dynamic, he’s always heavily involved in games and he attracts a lot of challenges.

Scott is one of the most fouled players in the Championship this season, and that is something that Pearson is all too aware of. He has claimed that teams have begun to target him, but that is something he will need to adapt to.

He said: "We’ve had games of late where teams have physically targeted him. It’s another part of the game, you’ve got to deal with him.

"I’m disappointed for us that he’s missing, but the most important thing is he recovers properly from this, and he’s then able to go back into the fray for us first and foremost. Outside of that, the international scene will have to wait."