Tyreece John-Jules is closing in on a return to full training with Ipswich Town, but manager Kieran McKenna is staying cautious with him.
Arsenal loanee Tyreece John-Jules was a regular for Ipswich Town in the early stages of the season, playing 21 times before the end of October, but an injury setback put a stop to that progress.
John-Jules had to undergo surgery on a significant hamstring injury, and he’s been out of action ever since.
Last month, reports suggested the striker was set to return to Ipswich, having spent time rehabilitating with Arsenal. But the 22-year-old remains absent from full training at this stage.
Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna said last week that the young centre-forward should be back training with the squad within the fortnight, but he didn’t want to set an exact date.
“Look, he’s had a fairly major surgery on his hamstring, so you never like to put exact deadlines on it,” McKenna said.
“It’s step-by-step at the moment. He’s working with the fitness coaches on the grass and that’s going well.
“The first step has to be getting back into training with the squad, which is a couple of weeks away, and from there we’ll make assessments on when’s going to be the right time to reintroduce him to the team.”
McKenna is clearly keen to get John-Jules back involved if and when that’s possible, and he says it’s been a boost simply to have the England u21 international around the squad again.
“As I’ve said before, he’s a really popular person around the training ground so everyone has been happy to see him and have him back,” McKenna added.
John-Jules will be returning to an Ipswich squad that now contains his former Arsenal academy teammate Harry Clarke, with Clarke joining the East Anglian side on a permanent deal in January.
The team are in the midst of a promotion push, five points off the automatic promotion places but one of the favourites to make the play-offs, given they currently sit in third.
There will still be plenty to play for when John-Jules returns, and an opportunity to make himself a hero.