Full Bristol City injury round-up as Nigel Pearson sweats on two stars

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The latest injury round-up for Bristol City as two stars join the injury list

Bristol City can not afford to have any major injuries with their small squad being stretched to the max by player unavailability. The Robins had to do without four first-team players for their 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City in the Severnside Derby, with all of them misssing through injury.

Nigel Pearson likes to work with a small tight-knit squad, but has admitted that there is a risk in doing that, given that they try to minimalise injuries, but can not fully prevent them. The City backroom staff have specific training schedules for players with a history of injuries, but once they step on to the pitch then there is only a hope that they can avoid a trip to the treatment room.

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Injuries are part and parcel of football, and over the course of the season, when one player hasn’t been available, another has stepped up in their place, giving them an opportunity they may not have had if everyone was fit. Here is all you need to know about the current state of play at Ashton Gate and the expected return dates for those on the sidelines.

Ayman Benarous

The 19-year-old suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury in training ahead of the last fixture of the 2021/22 season, which was a cruel blow. He had made a steady recovery and returned to the grass a few months ago, but he re-ruptured the injury and that has put him back on the sidelines.

Benarous is almost certain to go the entire 2022/23 campaign without playing a single minute, which is a major frustration. The academy midfielder made a breakthrough last year and with the medical staff cautious at the club, a return next season is likely to be the only option.

Joe Williams

Williams is one of two players that City will have to worry about after he was substituted in the defeat to Cardiff last Saturday. The former Wigan Athletic midfielder pulled up and immediately called to be brought off with Andi Weimann replacing him after the Robins’ best attack of the game had concluded.

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Pearson revealed in the post-match press conference that it was a hamstring injury that the 26-year-old had suffered and that he would undergo a scan on Saturday night. The 26-year-old had suffered a series of hamstring problems before, limiting him to just one game a week, but this season he looked to be over that problem.

There is a hope that the scans will be positive, and with no pre-match press conference ahead of the visit to Huddersfield, we will find out the status of Williams when Pearson names his side against the Terriers.

Kal Naismith

The 31-year-old has missed the last six matches through a calf problem that has reemerged from the earlier part of the campaign. Naismith was absent from early October to mid-December after getting injured against Coventry, and now the same problem has happened against Preston.

The Scotsman is likely to return either just before the international period starts, with City’s final match before the break starts against Swansea City on March 19, or the match after it which is against Reading on April 1. Naismith’s return would be welcomed given he can fill in for both Rob Atkinson and Joe Williams.

Rob Atkinson

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Atkinson’s season was brought to an end when he was substituted against Sunderland in mid-February. The 24-year-old challenged with Amad Diallo for the ball, and it looked like a fairly innocuous challenge but he went down and clutched to his knee, prompting for the medics to enter the pitch.

It was a suspected ACL injury at the time and Pearson confirmed that their worst fears were true and that he would be out for the rest of the season. Atkinson was scheduled for surgery and will now start to the long road to recovery from one of football’s most serious injuries.

Tomas Kalas

Kalas was substituted not long after Cardiff opened the scoring through Sory Kaba in the Severnside Derby. The Czech Republic international had gone down twice and it emerged that it was a knee problem, which is a worry given that is what ruled him out for a long period after only making a full return last month.

The 29-year-old put in a man-of-the-match display for City against Manchester City in the FA Cup, and given Rob Atkinson is already on the sidelines, it would leave Zak Vyner as the only out-and-out senior centre-half at the club. In Pearson’s update of the injuries, it seemed that a scan would not be required initially, which is a positive.

Tommy Conway

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Scotland Under-21 international Conway has been out since the start of January, after being forced off against Swansea City in the FA Cup. Conway was enjoying a breakout campaign and led the top scorer charts for the club, but a hamstring tendon injury has stopped his momentum.

It's been eight weeks since he played and Pearson did admit that it could be up to ten weeks before he returns to action, and so a return after the international break for the last run-in of the season seems likely. Conway is back in training and is with his teammates, but he is still a couple of weeks away from being in contention.

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