Barnsley, ‘He’s a little bit behind’ – Michael Duff issues injury update on Barnsley forward

‘He’s a little bit behind’ – Michael Duff issues injury update on Barnsley forward

Barnsley boss Michael Duff revealed that Max Watters has only just returned to training following suspension.

Watters joined League One promotion hopefuls Barnsley on loan until the end of the season in the January transfer window from Cardiff City.

The 23-year-old has struggled for game time in the Welsh capital and headed out on a second loan spell since joining the Championship side, but the early stages of his Barnsley stint have taken a setback after he was sent off against Cambridge United, as well as picking up a toe injury that has left him out of training.

Tykes boss Duff revealed to the Yorkshire Post that Watters only returned to training this week, and he may have to wait for his chance to come back around, saying:

“What people won’t know is that he [Watters] has only actually trained this week. Just before he got sent off, he hurt his toe and had actually gone a couple of weeks without training. So he’s a little bit behind again.

“He’d worked ever so hard getting himself up to speed to be ready for 90 minutes and he’s got himself out of the team and now might have to wait a little bit. If we can harness that so when he gets on the pitch, he gets on in a positive way, then we believe he’s got quality.”

Back down the pecking order?

Upon arrival at Oakwell, Watters had featured 11 times for Cardiff earlier this season, but he failed to register a goal or an assist and eventually found himself left out of the matchday squad in early November.

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By the time Watters joined Barnsley, he’d spent two months without action before he made his debut as a substitute against Charlton Athletic.

The 23-year-old earned his first start in February against Portsmouth before bagging his maiden goal against Cambridge United the following week, where he was sent off and suffered the injury that’s kept him out of training since.

Watters has been unavailable for the three previous games, in which Duff’s side have bagged 11 goals, leaving it no surprise that his manager has suggested he’ll have to start again to win his place back, despite him being back for selection on the weekend.

Barnsley’s next outing in League One is against Bristol Rovers on Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm.

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