Bristol City injury news vs Sunderland: Key man set to return as Naismith and Roberts updates given

Bristol City host EFL Championship rivals Sunderland on Saturday
Nahki Wells could return vs SunderlandNahki Wells could return vs Sunderland
Nahki Wells could return vs Sunderland

Liam Mannings says Bristol City striker Nahki Wells is a 'lot closer' to returning to match action after a spell out with an ankle injury.

The Bermudan picked up the problem in City's 2-1 defeat to Leeds United back in October and has since missed 10 matches for the Robins.

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Manning said last week that their trip to Blackburn Rovers would come too soon for Wells, but left the door ajar in his pre-Black Cats conference for a welcome return in some capacity.

"Nahki is a lot closer now which is good news. Hopefully, we will be seeing him again soon," the manager said. When questioned further on specifics, Manning simply said: "He's a lot closer."

In Wells' absence, Tommy Conway has led the line for City. The young forward has been having a tough time in front of goal of late, and Wells' know-how will be a big help for the talented Scot.

"Having his (Wells') character, and experience, whether it be starting or on the bench, he's vital to support the others and be a voice. He's impactful and when he's on the pitch, his record speaks for himself, he will be a terrific addition to have back."

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Further back on the pitch, Kal Naismith has been missing for three matches with a hamstring injury. The defender had a scan earlier this week to assess the damage, and Manning insisted that the ex-Luton man is making steady improvements.

"He's progressing well, he's on track in terms of making the right steps," he said. "He's recently started running on the treadmill so he's moving forward which is positive."

Another defensive absentee is Haydon Roberts. The summer signing has been struggling with an ankle problem, and unfortunately, it will be some time before he is back in action.

Manning said: "He will still be out for a while. I've watched videos and I remember him from his time at Brighton, so I'm very much looking forward to working with him when he does come back.

"He's still in all the meetings, we've had a couple of chats when he's come into my office. It's important that injured players remember that they're footballers and not gym specialists."

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