Hatters sweating on fitness of players for Palace

Boss Rob Edwards admitted the international break had “not been ideal” for his squad and is sweating on the fitness on several of the team as the Town prepare to face Crystal Palace on Saturday.


One player who is definitely set to miss the meeting with Roy Hodgson’s Eagles is Issa Kaboré, who came off with concussion while playing for Burkina Faso.

“Issa’s out. He had the concussion, so we’re going through all the protocols with that,” Edwards said at his pre-match press conference at the University of Bedfordshire on Friday.

“He won’t be available for this game. We’re hoping he’ll be fine for next weekend against Brentford.

“I saw the footage. It was a nasty one, but he’s scoring well on all the testing. We’re obviously following the protocols now and making sure we do that correctly. His health is the most important thing, but he’s been fine. You see him at the training ground and he’s smiling and wondering around, so there’s no problem.

“It’s just that you obviously have to give it a certain amount of time. He’s got to tick the boxes now before he’s able to train.”

The boss had more encouraging news on Chiedozie Ogbene’s fitness after the Republic of Ireland winger was ruled action in the week.

“Chieo’s been OK. He had to have a bit of treatment. He obviously wasn’t able to represent his country, which he was disappointed about, but I’m hopeful,” Edwards said.

“We’ve managed to get him out on the grass. He has been sore and we’ve had to help him through a couple of days. We’re hopeful because he has been a key player for us, but he has been in a lot of pain.”

The boss then gave an update on Amari’i Bell and Sambi Lokonga as the pair progress in fitness after injury.

“Amari’i’s done really, really well, so he’s in contention. He’s fit and able to be involved so he’s a real positive.

“Sambi’s doing well. He’s not ready yet but he’s joining in with big elements of the training now as well. I’m looking forward to having him back but I don’t want to put any unnecessary pressure on him, but I think he might be a little ahead of schedule, which is great.”

Cauley Woodrow, Reece Burke, Dan Potts and Mads Andersen, however all remain sidelined.

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