Latest Birmingham City news from BirminghamLive includes the injury latest ahead of the double-header with Huddersfield Town and West Brom.
John Eustace isn’t expecting any injury boosts before Birmingham City’s double-header in the Championship this week.
Blues completed a winless September with a 2-0 defeat to Norwich City on Saturday and their positive start is in danger of evaporating. With two home games coming up this week, Eustace and his players are desperate to get back to winning ways.
None of the six players who missed Blues’ trip to Carrow Road through injury are expected to return in time for Huddersfield Town on Tuesday. The same can probably be said for West Bromwich Albion on Friday based on Eustace’s latest update. “I don’t think we will have anyone back,” the Blues boss said.
Keshi Anderson has been ruled out for up to two months by Eustace after suffering a hamstring injury in the draw with Queens Park Rangers. Blues also lost Lee Buchanan to an ankle injury in the week leading up to the Norwich match. Ethan Laird, Tyler Roberts, George Hall and Alfie Chang haven’t featured since August.
“We want to win games, of course we do. It’s important we finish this week off strongly now with two home games,” added Eustace. “We need to be more clinical in the final third. It’s been a problem that we’ve had all season.”
Here’s the latest on the Blues injury front before matches with Huddersfield and Albion at St Andrew’s…
Injury: Ankle (Sustained September 25)
Buchanan rolled his ankle during a training session and now faces a spell on the sidelines. Blues could be without Buchanan until after the next international break in yet another significant blow.
The 22-year-old has become a key player for Blues since making a permanent switch from Werder Bremen in July. Buchanan has started all seven of the Championship matches he has been available for and contributed to one of the best defensive records in the league.
Eustace said (September 28): “Lee Buchanan got injured on Monday and he will be out for four or five weeks, which is a massive blow to us. Lee has been an outstanding performer – one of the best left-backs in the league. He had quite a bad slip on the training field and he’s got quite a bad strain.”
Injury: Hamstring (Sustained September 22)
Anderson had to be replaced by Oliver Burke shortly before half-time after pulling up in the middle of the park against QPR. Anderson – who only made nine appearances in the Championship last term for Blackpool due to a succession of injuries – is set for an extended stint out the team.
Eustace said (September 28): “I think Keshi will be out between six and eight weeks.”
Injury: Hamstring (Sustained August 29)
George Hall’s first start in over four months ended in another injury for Birmingham City’s talented teen.
Eustace included Hall in Blues’ line-up for the Carabao Cup second round defeat to Cardiff City on August 29. It was Hall’s first start since April 15 when Blues played Sunderland in the Championship, but he pulled his hamstring shortly before half-time and didn’t reappear for the second half.
Eustace said (September 28): “George is progressing nicely. He is still maybe three or four weeks away.”
Injury: Hamstring (Sustained August 19)
Laird suffered a hamstring strain towards the end of pre-season and picked up a similar problem in the win at Bristol City. He was replaced in the line-up by Juninho Bacuna against Plymouth and deadline day signing Cody Drameh has now taken over right-back duties.
Eustace revealed that Laird had suffered a setback following the defeat to Preston, and the head coach now says the 22-year-old is still some way off returning. “Ethan is still three or four weeks away as well,” Eustace said (September 28).
Injury: Calf (Sustained August 11)
Roberts completed pre-season, despite having to manage a groin complaint towards the end of it, and started the opening day draw with Swansea City. He was withdrawn after 60 minutes and rested for the Carabao Cup victory over Cheltenham Town.
Having trained all week Roberts was expected to start against his former club Leeds United on August 12 before picking up a new injury on the eve of the match. Seven weeks on, Roberts is still sidelined, and Eustace says he is no closer to returning.
Eustace said (September 28): “Tyler had a bit of a mishap in his rehab last week, so he’s going to be five or six weeks away. These are big blows to us, of course they are, but it’s about the squad and we have players to come in and replace them.
“He’s had some more calf issues. The lad is working as hard as he can in the gym and the medical department is working as hard as they can. It’s unfortunate but we need to get to the bottom of it and get him fitter and ready as soon as we can. He is a top performer at this level, when he’s fit.”
Injury: Knee (ACL – sustained August 22)
Chang is set for an extended period on the sidelines after suffering a serious knee injury during training on August 22. The midfielder has become a fixture in Blues’ matchday squad under Eustace and was playing the role of back-up to midfield pairing Krystian Bielik and Ivan Sunjic.
Having undergone surgery on his injured ACL injury, Chang could be seen on crutches at Blues’ meeting with Millwall on September 2. Speaking about Chang’s unfortunate injury, Eustace said (August 24): “It’s a massive blow. Alfie was pivotal in what we wanted to do last year. He came in at some important times in big games. The way he went down was a real sad thing to see.”
Giving an update on September 14, Eustace added: “Alfie is progressing well but we have to realise that he is going to be out for eight or nine months. It’s very sad for him but it’s all part of being a footballer. It’s all part of the process of how he comes back from it.”