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Dublin: 3°C Monday 19 April 2021

Irish defender set for spell on the sidelines after foot fracture

Nathan Collins had been enjoying an impressive season at Stoke.

Image: PA

IRELAND U21 international Nathan Collins is set for a spell on the sidelines.

Stoke assistant boss Billy McKinlay confirmed to BBC Radio that the 19-year-old centre-back had suffered a fractured foot.

Collins has had an x-ray after suffering the injury late on during a 4-1 loss in the Championship at the weekend against Norwich, and was absent from the matchday squad for tonight’s 1-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday.

Healing time on foot fractures can vary, though 6-8 weeks is the most common recovery span. McKinlay was unwilling to put a timeline on the youngster’s return, with Tommy Smith taking his place in the side this evening.

“Tommy has been champing at the bit. Nathan has been playing well so that’s what’s kept him on the sidelines,” the assistant boss said.

“Nathan has got an x-ray which showed a small facture in the ball of his foot and it requires further investigation. We’re not sure how long he’ll be out but it’s obviously not good.”

The teenage defender has impressed for Stoke this season, featuring 27 times in all competitions.

His displays attracted interest from Premier League clubs, with Michael O’Neill’s side reportedly rejecting a £7.5 million offer for Collins from Burnley just before the January transfer window closed.

On the back of his performances in the Championship, Ireland boss Stephen Kenny will also have been keeping a close eye on Collins, particularly with experienced centre-backs Shane Duffy out of form at Celtic and John Egan suffering what appears to be a bad injury against West Ham on Monday.

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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