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Steve Cotterill hopeful for Daniel Udoh return

Steve Cotterill is hoping to have Shrewsbury Town’s talisman Daniel Udoh back in training this week – after the forward missed the season opener at Morecambe.

Dan Udoh of Shrewsbury Town.
Dan Udoh of Shrewsbury Town.

The striker scored 16 goals in all competitions for Salop last season, but he has struggled to get over a long-term ankle injury.

He did not feature in Town’s goalless draw with Morecambe at the weekend with the striker not even fit enough to make the bench.

But boss Cotterill said the news regarding Udoh’s fitness is positive despite him not playing – and he hopes to have him back in training this week.

“Even though he wasn’t in the squad, it’s not actually bad news,” said the Salop boss. “Dan went down to London last week to see a specialist, and he had to have an injection. We have got to see if he can return to training. But we needed to let that injection settle down.

“We are hoping that is going to be good news.”

Udoh played 87 minutes against AFC Telford and 71 minutes versus Burnley in pre-season, but he did not feature at all in Town’s final friendly at home to Cardiff.

The striker was present for his side’s EFL curtain raiser, watching the fixture at the Mazuma Stadium from the stands with long-term absentee Elliott Bennett.

Cotterill said it was a blow for Shrewsbury not to have the forward available for selection.

He said: “It is a disappointment to not have Dan, he has had a bit of a stop-start pre-season with that ankle.”

Before Saturday’s game, there was also an injury concern with summer signing Aiden O’Brien – he was only fit enough for the bench – making a brief 10-minute cameo.

The 28-year-old signed on a free transfer in the summer after penning a two-year deal at Montgomery Waters Meadow.

But the forward did not play a single minute in Town’s pre-season fixtures due to muscle soreness and tendinitis in his hip.

And Cotterill said being on the bench at the weekend was the most he could manage – with him set to undergo more treatment this week.

He said: “It was absolute maximum for him to get on the bench.

“We could have done without putting him on.

“I was just hoping if we found him in a pocket, he might find a pass that would put somebody in, and it was only for that.

“He is going to have an injection.

“But we knew we couldn’t make him any worse.

“So that is why we gambled with him on the bench.”

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