Charlton AthleticSport

‘It will be a bonus’ – Charlton boss not factoring striker’s injury return in plans for the season

Charlton boss Michael Appleton wants to be cautious with Miles Leaburn’s return date and is not factoring the striker’s return into his plans for the season.

It was announced last Saturday that the 20-year-old was set to miss the next five months after undergoing successful hamstring surgery.

Leaburn was forced off in the first half during the 2-1 win at home to Cheltenham.

He had 10 goal contributions in 18 games to his name this season and was being tracked by Chelsea and Brentford ahead of the January transfer window.

“It’s a setback for him at such a young age,” Appleton told the South London Press.

“From a maturity point of view, it will help him – he probably doesn’t think that or realise it at the minute.

“But over a period of time, the type of discipline that he’s going to have to show while he is out injured and the patience he’s going to have to show because of the type of injury that it is, will stand him in good stead for what will be a great career for him.

“I’d rather be really cautious with this one.

“I’m sure that [five months] will be the case because the reality is that muscular injuries of this severity take time.

“Sometimes they can fool you a little bit. Sometimes if there is a break or a snap of a digament, there is almost a definitive timeline on it.

“Whereas everybody is different and everybody has a different make-up – Miles is a big boy for his age.

“Even though I am being told five months – and I’m guessing that’s what it probably will be – if it’s slightly better, then great.

“But for me, if we see Miles at any point between now and the end of the season, it will be a bonus. It’s not something that I’m expecting or thinking it’s going to happen in any way.

“From my point of view, if we see Miles at the start of pre-season, ready for a really strong season next year, then so be it.

“For him more than anything, he has to make sure that the future years ahead of him are the most important thing.”

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