Bristol City injury update as returning trio 'close' but key defender suffers setback ahead of Preston North End

Kal Naismith will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering a fresh injury setbackKal Naismith will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering a fresh injury setback
Kal Naismith will be sidelined for several weeks after suffering a fresh injury setback | Getty Images
Bristol City injury update as two players close in on a return to action but one has suffered a set back in the build-up to Preston North End.

Liam Manning says Bristol City defensive duo Ross McCrorie and Haydon Roberts are close to action but revealed Kal Naismith has suffered a setback in his recovery from injury.

McCrorie joined the club from Aberdeen in the summer but is yet to feature after he faced six months out with a bacterial infection.

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The right-back played 60 minutes in the club's U21s defeat to Bournemouth earlier this week and his manager hinted that it won't be long until he makes his first-team debut.

“He’s a lot closer, that was definitely a step in the direction we want him to go," he said. "He’s been back in full training for a while and has added match minutes so he’s really close to being involved... We will definitely see him soon."

On the opposite side of defence, Roberts has missed 14 matches with an ankle injury, and Manning was equally as bullish about the ex-Brighton man's return to action.

“He’s in full training now," Manning said. "He’s very close, I'm hoping in the next week or so that we will see him (in action).”

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Mark Sykes is another who missed the Robins' trip to West Ham, and Manning said that the winger will not be out for long, but that this weekend's match against Preston will come too soon for Sykes.

However, it is not all good news for the Robins, as the manager confirmed that centre-back Kal Naismith will face a period sidelined.

Naismith has been out since late November with a hamstring problem, while fellow centre-back Rob Atkinson has also been recovering from an ACL injury.

The pair's problems have left Zak Vyner and Rob Dickie as the only two senior centre-backs, and it appears that may continue to be the case in the next few weeks.

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“Kal’s going to be a while, he’s had a little bit of a clean-up," Manning said reluctantly. When questioned on whether it was a fresh problem with the Scot's existing hamstring issue, he replied: "There are a few bits, yeah.”

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