Nigel Pearson issues positive injury update at Bristol City for Watford clash

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Bristol City may have a player at their disposal that they didn't think was possible because of an injury last month.

Joe Williams could yet play a part in Bristol City’s season in a welcomed boost for Nigel Pearson.

The 26-year-old’s season was thought to be over after he sustained a hamstring injury in the 2-0 defeat to Cardiff City in early March. Williams has missed the last seven matches and was not expected to play a part in the end-of-season run-in but looks to have recovered quicker than expected.

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He has resumed light training and could resume full training with his teammates next week. City have away trips to Watford and Sheffield United up next but matches against Rotherham United and Burnley could be a possibility.

In his pre-match press conference, Pearson said: “Joe Williams is back outside with us and he will hopefully start training with us next week which will be good for him in particular.

“We thought it was possibly for the whole of the season when he did it. He’s made really good progress.”

The former Wigan Athletic midfielder is an influential figure in the dressing room but has been dealt his fair share of setbacks. He was signed from the cash-strapped Latics in August 2020 but suffered several hamstring injuries during Dean Holden’s tenure which continued over to Pearson’s time at the club.

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Medical staff at Bristol City worked closely to help Williams and this season has seen him play 13 games more than the last campaign. His injury against Cardiff was the first time this season that he had been out of the side because of an injury.

Pearson added: “He’s got the confidence that the work he has put in has basically allowed him to be available for the majority of the season. In his own mind, he’s in a much better place than he was 12 months ago and certainly two seasons ago.

“He’s had a pretty difficult time since he has been here. For him, moving forward it’s important for him to know he’s a lot more durable than he was.”

He will not feature this weekend but Alex Scott is in contention to make a return after a brief period out with a knee ligament injury. The 19-year-old got injured on international duty and missed the game against Reading, as well as the double-header versus Stoke City and Middlesbrough. Utility man Kal Naismith came on in the 2-2 draw with Boro on Easter Monday and has recovered from a calf problem, and will be pushing for a start.

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Mark Sykes and Tomas Kalas though are set to miss out through suspension and injury. Republic of Ireland international Sykes was retrospectively banned for an incident against Swansea City whilst Kalas has been out with a groin problem since March.

"We’ve got players coming back into the squad now," said Pearson. Alex Scott will be back in contention. Kal Naismith came back on the bench and he’s training.

Tomas will be training again next week which will be good for him and for us. Mark Sykes will be available after the weekend. We’re making progressions in that sense which is good for competition."

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