BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Nigel Adkins is determined to make Ryan Inniss’ injury issues a thing of the past.
Charlton are unbeaten in the eight matches the centre-back has played – winning seven and drawing once – as well as keeping six clean sheets.
But Inniss was rested for Tuesday’s 6-0 demolition of Plymouth.
The former Palace centre-back signed for Charlton in October but missed 27 League One matches with a quad injury.
Addicks manager Adkins told the South London Press: “Ryan is a good player and a good guy. I’ve been really impressed with him. But it is when he plays – his injury history beforehand has been too big. So we’ve got to address that.
“He’s certainly moved in the right direction. He has been a massive threat from set-pieces, both for and against. His distribution and defending ability is very, very good. We’re excited he is with us.”
Inniss’ career has been disrupted by injuries and disciplinary issues.
But Adkins, formerly a physio for a decade before landing the boss job at Scunthorpe, reckons that his propensity to pick up injuries is not just down to one thing.
“There will be several factors involved in it,” he said. “We’ve got excellent medical sports science here and we’ve got experience in that department in Danny Murphy, who joined not so long ago. I’ve got a bit of an insight in the 10 years I had as a physio.
“We’ve got to manage the group of players as best we can to minimise the risk. Especially when if someone gets a soft tissue injury now it potentially rules them out for the rest of the season.
“We’ll put a lot of thought into everybody to try and get the training programme right and also the game time.
“We want to try and get ourselves all the way through to the play-off final and get promoted. That’s still a lot of games to play, we want to have everyone available.”
Inniss, Conor Washington and Ian Maatsen will all be available for tomorrow’s home game against Peterborough.
Northern Ireland international Washington had netted four times in three games before suffering a hamstring injury five minutes into Adkins’ first match in charge – the 2-2 draw at AFC Wimbledon.
Chelsea loanee Maatsen was shifted to a wide right role, netting the clincher at Doncaster, but came off with a hip issue against Sunderland.
The Dutchman had previously only played at left wing-back during his stay in SE7 before Adkins switched him to the opposite side.
“We had Liam Millar, who had been away with Canada on international duty and I was looking to get a stabilised formation of play to start off with,” said Adkins. “You want the two wide players to have a bit of pace, a bit of dynamic play about them.
“Ian obviously had that capability. I played DJ [Diallang Jaiyesimi] on the left and him on the right. He has got pace, flair and athletic ability and he has an attacking mindset – he scored the goal.
“You want to have pace in your team, especially up top.
“Liam Millar and DJ both played the full 90 [against Ipswich], probably for the first time in a long time. We didn’t really have an opportunity on the bench to change like-for-like in personnel from a forward point of view.
“In previous games I’d played Chrissy Gunter on that right-hand side, coming on, but he been more predominantly a full-back in his time. But at least Chris can give us that forward momentum with defensive attributes in that position too.”
PICTURE: KEITH GILLARD
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