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Fitness updates on Darius and Joe ahead of Scunthorpe

Team news from the manager

5 April 2018

Neal Ardley said that Darius Charles returned to full training today after a hip injury and he will be monitored ahead of the match against Scunthorpe on Saturday.

The experienced centre-back could be back at a vital stage of the season with the Dons battling to stay in League One.

"Darius has had a tough a time," said Neal. "When we had those five games on the trot it took its toll on his hip. He came back, but then he pulled up again. With Darius, he is such a bubbly character, he is such a positive influence. When he gets himself down a little bit it can affect the dressing room. I've had a chat with him, he has trained today, but whether the pain threshold gets worse we don't know yet. It's a good start and he is in a positive frame of mind. If he cannot influence on the pitch at the moment, he wants to be an influence off it. We will see. He is obviously going to get some training days, but if we get through tomorrow and then we start to get through next week, then he will be right back into the reckoning."

Neal added that striker Joe Pigott (pictured above) had struggled to shake off concussion and that was the reason why he missed the defeat against Fleetwood.

"We did not go into too much detail last week about Joe because we did not know the extent of what had happened. Last Thursday in training before the Fleetwood game – Joe had been due to start – a ball was cleared by a defender and it hit him on the side of his head. At first we were not quite sure how he was. He was a big groggy from the impact, but it became apparent that he was concussed. He's had a slow recovery from it. Joe has been groggy, not quite himself. He has been back in, doing work on the bike and light jogging.

"Joe is getting better every day. Whether he will be right for Saturday or Tuesday, we don't know. It's a bit of a blow because it leaves us very light in that area. It's just one of those things, we are not going to cry about it, and we will try another way of winning games."

Watch the full interview with Neal on our iFollow channel.

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