Striker back in the reckoning for Saturday
Neal Ardley has confirmed that Bayo Akinfenwa has returned to training and he’s back in contention for the match against Hartlepool United (2.00 pm kick-off) on Saturday.
Akinfenwa (pictured) has shaken off the thigh injury that forced him to miss last Saturday’s 3-1 win at York City and he is likely to back in the Wimbledon squad.
However, Neal Ardley will check on Sean Rigg’s fitness as the winger is struggling with the dead leg that forced him to come off at York.
Speaking during an interview for Dons Player, Neal Ardley said: “Sean is 50-50 and it is whether or not he gets over his dead leg in time. Bayo has trained today and he seems fine. It is likely to be another two weeks before James Shea can return to training and probably a month for Andy Barcham. We have to put them on the back-burner for now. We have trained well this week. We did not overdo it because last week was so tough. Hopefully, we will put in another good performance and kick-on for the cup.”
Neal added that Semi Ajayi has now gone back to Cardiff after his one-month loan deal expired, the towering defender having made five League 2 appearances for Wimbledon with two of those ending in victories.
“Semi was outstanding in his first couple of games for us,” said Neal. “I do not think he quite got over the concussion and broken nose that he suffered at Oxford. In his next two games he looked a bit uneasy with his heading and stuff. He has gone back to Cardiff to hopefully get that right. At the moment, we are deciding what we are going to do. We have until the third Thursday of November to make a loan signing if we want, but it has got to be right. We have to make sure we are not wasting our precious money."
Karleigh Osborne came back into the side at York City last Saturday – and Neal believes the on-loan Bristol City defender is getting back to his best.
“Karleigh has taken a while since the start of the season to recapture his form, but I still think there is more to come from him," added Neal. "He has worked really hard on the training pitch as being out of the team hurt him. He was part of a back four that worked hard for each other on Saturday. As I said previously, Neil Cox and Alan Reeves did a lot of video work and training pitch work with them last week. They have done that again this week and it is something we are trying to keep on top of. Hopefully, they can keep that solidity again because they are important for us.”
All at AFC Wimbledon wish to thank Semi Ajayi for his contribution in a Wimbledon shirt.
Dons Player now features the full interview with Neal and an interview with on-loan goalkeeper Ben Wilson will be on our premium channel tomorrow.