Jack Lankester may miss Cambridge United’s clash with former club Ipswich Town
Jack Lankester is doubtful for Cambridge United’s home clash with former club Ipswich Town in Sky Bet League One on Saturday (October 16).
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder moved to the U's from the Tractor Boys in the summer, but missed the first few games of the season because of a knee injury.
He has been back in the squad since the win over Burton Albion, and made his first league start in the U’s last match, a 2-2 draw at Crewe Alexandra.
However, Lankester may have to watch on from the Abbey Stadium sidelines this weekend.
“He took a bit of a knock last week in training so we just need to see how he is on Thursday and Friday as to whether he is fit and available to be selected,” said United head coach Mark Bonner, who explained that the injury is not linked to his previous knee problem.
“He just needs to get a run - a run of games, a run of training.
“When you are not in the team, it’s hard to get that run of games, obviously.
“When you’re not in the team in a period where the team is playing all the time, it’s hard to get really good training minutes.
“Timing has been really difficult for him at the moment to get to his peak. We’re also talking about a boy that had been at Ipswich since he was nine years old and sometimes moving club takes time to settle to get used to the surroundings to get used to a completely different culture and people.”
Lankester had a 15-year association with Ipswich in total, making 28 appearances for their first team.
“We think we’ve got a really good player on our hands there, a really talented player, and we’ve just got to get him settled, used to our way, used to be playing senior football more regularly and he needs a bit of a break really in terms of his body holding up for him so he can get a run of games in training that will allow him to get to peak fitness,” said Bonner.
“I think when he does, we will have a player who can win us games.
“I’m quite looking forward to seeing that.”
Bonner added: “There is lots he could have done better in the game at Crewe. He could have scored after three minutes with a good chance at the back post. He was so close to an assist with one cross and a set play.
“The margins are quite close sometimes between an OK performance and a statistically strong one with a goal or an assist.
“We know he has got those qualities and we’re looking forward to seeing more of that over the months ahead.”