Bristol City manager Nigel Pearson doubtful of Nathan Baker return after delivering honest update

The long-serving centre-back isn’t expected to be part of Bristol City’s 2022/23 squad for the upcoming Championship season

Nigel Pearson has said that he does not expect to see one of Bristol City’s most long serving players in Nathan Baker featuring for Bristol City this season.

Baker suffered a concussion injury against West Bromwich Albion back in December and was sidelined for a number of weeks before making a return to action.

But the 31-year-old then had a head injury weeks later in an away game against Sheffield United which made him unavailable for selection again.

Since being stretchered off at Bramall Lane, the 31-year-old has not played a match since November which was the last time he was involved in a match-day squad.

The experienced centre-back did not participate in training either last season but did return to the training ground at times last year to mingle with his teammates.

As plans now begin for the 2022/23 season and the club being busy in the transfer market, however, it seems that Baker will not be in the first-team picture.

Respectful to the players situation, Pearson said: “The only thing I will say on this one is I should manage expectations that we don’t expect to see him in the squad this season.

“In terms of making comments like timings or statements, I’m not going to make any further comment.

“It will be very very unlikely that we will see him.”

Baker has been at the club since joining on a loan deal from Aston Villa in 2015 that was made permanent in 2017 after he impressed Lee Johnson.

He was initially due to be released in May 2021 and was named on their released list but the defender ended up earning a two-year deal with the club after persuading Pearson for a new deal.

His current contract with City will run for the course of this season and will expire in the summer of 2023.

In Baker’s absence as well as injuries to other defenders, City recruited Timm Klose on a free transfer after his departure from Norwich City back in January. The Switzerland international was ever-present after his arrival at Ashton Gate and made an impact in a youthful back line.

Klose put pen-to-paper on a new one-year deal earlier this summer and is one of a number of options that Pearson can call upon this season.

The long-serving Tomas Kalas, Rob Atkinson, Zak Vyner, and summer recruit Kal Naismith can play in that role, meanwhile, youngsters Duncan Idehen and Ryley Towler are also on the books.

City did offer the chance to Robbie Cundy to extend his stay in the West Country but the defender opted to take up a three-year deal at Barnsley.

There have also been links with potentially signing Fraser Horsfall, who was named in the League Two Team of the Year with Northampton Town, though news about that has since gone quiet whilst Stockport County has now emerged as a possible destination.