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Barcham back in contention

15 December 2016

Interview with the manager for Dons Player

Andy Barcham has handed AFC Wimbledon a boost ahead of Saturday’s home game against Port Vale by returning to full training.

Birthday tomorrow, has not featured for a month since the 5-0 FA Cup win against Bury due to a hamstring injury.thBarcham, who celebrates his 30

However, Neal Ardley will check on the fitness of Jon Meades tomorrow as the full-back is still struggling with an ankle injury and Chris Whelpdale is definitely ruled out with a groin injury.

Speaking in an interview for Dons Player, Neal said: “Andy is back training, he has had a full week with us and has trained well. He has only had this week so we need to get some game-time into him. Andy will certainly come back into the squad. He is a bubbly lad and the lads love him. I am looking at the qualities he brings; if you play with a three up he gives us that great width and if you play with a four he is one of the best in the team at one v one and making things happen.

“We’ve missed Andy. We need to get him up to speed, but we also don’t want to get him injured again. He will come into the squad for sure, but as for how much we will use him, we will monitor that over the next couple of days.”

On the fitness of Meades and Whelpdale, Neal added: “Jon had to have an injection in his ankle, which has been troubling him, so we will see how he is tomorrow. He had the injection earlier in the week so he is going to be touch and go. Chris has got a slight tear in his groin, he felt it on Tuesday. He is going to be out for a few weeks as well. We are a little bit thin going into the Christmas period, but we have to put faith in the rest of the squad.”

During his extensive update, Neal also revealed that defender Will Nightingale requires an operation on his injured knee.

“Will is probably going to go in for an operation on Monday to repair the meniscus in his knee,” added Neal. “His knee swelled up after the Brighton game. Hopefully, it is not a serious operation and it will be weeks rather than months. There is a couple of things that they can do, but this is the lesser of the two. They have to look back at the old injury he had last time. The hope is that they just go in and repair the meniscus so that it’s just a matter of weeks, but Will has certainly not had a good run of it.”

All at AFC Wimbledon wish Will a speedy recovery after his injury setback.

Neal confirmed that fellow defender Darius Charles is not yet ready to return to full training after failing to shake off a thigh injury.

   and a more comprehensive preview of the Port Vale game will follow on the official website tomorrow. Dons PlayerExtensive interviews with Neal Ardley and Dannie Bulman are now on 


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