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Ian Evatt reveals timescale on Bolton Wanderers absentee

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Ricardo Santos is likely to return to the Bolton Wanderers starting eleven when the club host Barnsley in the first round of the League Cup on Tuesday evening, Ian Evatt told the Bolton News this morning.

The Trotters arrived back in League One with an epic 3-3 draw at home to Milton Keynes Dons on Saturday, an incredible spectacle but also one that highlighted the absence of their 2020/21 Player of the Year and centre back Ricardo Santos.

The 26-year-old only made the bench for the big kick-off having suffered a foot injury and recovered from coronavirus in the build up to the campaign. Evatt is confident Santos will be ready for selection soon but is careful not too overexert the Portuguese given how crucial he is to the club.

The manager said: “Rico isn’t far away at all, in fact I would think he will play on Tuesday.

“It was challenging (whether to select him against the Dons) because I’ve got one part of me that wants to play him because I know how good he is, but the other part is I know how important he is to us.

“And if it had been too much too soon and we ended up breaking him then we are going to miss him for a lengthy period of time, so it was short-term pain for long-term gain, really.”

There is a positive feel around the University of Bolton Stadium at the moment, despite being a newly promoted side in League One the fans are optimistic they can continue their upward trajectory under Evatt and even ruffle some feathers in the top half of the division. Santos’ return will bolster that claim.

The Verdict

The Trotters are certainly not relegation candidates in my eyes and despite conceding three goals on the opening day should come away from the match feeling jubilant about the road ahead. Evatt’s former teammate Alex Baptiste’s 95th minute equaliser will build momentum and belief against a side many were tipping to make a top six push this season.

If Santos can put in a composed display against 2020/21 Championship play-off semi finalists Barnsley on Tuesday then he is likely to be involved in their trip to Plough Lane to face perennial third tier strugglers AFC Wimbledon at the weekend. A great opportunity for them to get their first win on the board.

Quiz:

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What was the score the last time Bolton played Burnley at Turf Moor?


Passionate Football League obsessive and long-suffering Charlton Athletic supporter.

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Article title: Ian Evatt reveals timescale on Bolton Wanderers absentee

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