Bolton Wanderers manager Keith Hill has confirmed that long-term injury absentee Ali Crawford is close to coming back into contention for selection, after several months on the sidelines through injury.
Crawford hasn’t featured for Bolton since suffering a knee ligament injury in an EFL Trophy game back in October, but it seems that could soon be about to change for Wanderers, who were also boosted by the return to action of Jack Hobbs and Joe Bunney in their 2-0 defeat to Wycombe on Saturday, while Tottenham loanee Anthony Georgiou also appears to be close to making his debut for the club.
Speaking to the Bolton News about the injury situation surrounding the quartet, Hill said: “I’m looking at positives in Joe Bunney getting on the pitch, Ali Crawford training with us, Anthony from Tottenham training with us, and Jack Hobbs has got through 90 minutes.”
Discussing the importance to his side – whose situation in the League One relegation battle is looking increasingly – of having the services of those sorts of players available, Hill continued: “You have to try and hold on to them. The negatives come with the territory, it’s something you have to accept.
“We are working for a big football club whose expectations are far bigger than the bottom of League One and losing football matches.”
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Crawford joined Bolton from Doncaster back at the end of the summer transfer window on a one-year deal, and went on to make nine appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring twice.
That defeat to Wycombe last weekend has left Bolton 19 points adrift of safety with 15 games of the season remaining, ahead of their trip to MK Dons on Saturday afternoon.
This will be a big boost for Bolton.
Crawford was an impressive figure for Bolton in the centre of their midfield prior to his injury, so having him back will give them a useful, experienced, option to call upon in what is still a rather young side.
The news about Georgiou is also encouraging, given his attacking impetus and Premier League potential could also give them a big boost as they look to end the season on a high.
Indeed, picking up a few wins between now and the end of the campaign could be crucial to momentum and confidence around the club if they are to be relegated, and could also show potential new signings that this could be a move worth making, something those returning from injury could help them to do.