Charlton Athletic goalkeeper Dillon Phillips has suggested that long-range kicking will be an issue for goalkeepers once the season returns and may lead to injury issues.
It has been nearly three months since the English football season was put on hold but the EFL announced yesterday that the Championship is set to return on the 20th of June.
Charlton will want to ensure they hit the ground running as they’re facing a relegation battle if the season does indeed restart.
Lee Bowyer’s side are 22nd in the table as things stand – two points and one place away from safety with nine games remaining.
Phillips has been ever-present in the Addicks starting XI this season and looks as if he could play a key role in their push for survival.
In an interview on the Sky Sports website, the 24-year-old revealed training during the lockdown had been difficult and raised long-range kicking as a particular area of concern.
He said: “It just feels a bit alien at the moment, when I am trying to catch balls. I know it sounds silly but it’s been a long period out now and obviously everyone’s itching to get back but we’ve got to do it safely, so we’ll see what happens.”
Phillips added: “That will be an issue. I think that is probably where a lot of goalies pick up injuries, from lots of continuous long-distance kicking.
“We’ll just have to be mindful of that when we do come back, if we do come back and take it from there. ”
Charlton were set to face fellow relegation prospects Hull City before the delay to the season, so you’d imagine the Tigers will likely be there first opponents should the season return.
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This is a fair point from Phillips and certainly something that will be a concern to players and clubs in the Championship.
The 24-year-old has been one of the Addicks standout performers this term, the last thing they need ahead of a tight relegation battle is to lose him due to injury.
They’ll be hoping that isn’t an issue they have to deal with, particularly as there are only nine games left to be played.