Charlton Athletic are preparing to face Sunderland in the League One play-off final at Wembley on Sunday afternoon for a place in the second tier.
Lee Bowyer’s side finished third in the table and then beat Doncaster Rovers in the semi-finals to book their place at the Wembley showpiece, where they will aim to bring their three seasons in League One to an end.
The Addicks delivered against the odds to secure a top-six finish, and Bowyer has now delivered a squad update ahead of their season-defining clash.
He said that his players are all looking “sharp and fit”, but he confessed that striker Igor Vetokele was unlikely to be able to train with Sunday’s match looming large.
????LB: “The boys are all looking sharp and fit. We were hoping Igor could be training today, but that looks unlikely.” #cafc
— Charlton Athletic FC (@CAFCofficial) May 24, 2019
Vetokele has now been out with a thigh injury for about a month, and Bowyer’s latest update suggests he is quickly losing his battle to recover in time to face Sunderland.
The 27-year-olsd firmly established himself in Bowyer’s side during the second half of the season, and he eventually made 25 appearances as he formed a fruitful attacking partnership with Lyle Taylor.
Vetokele sees his Charlton contract expire this summer, which means the play-off final could be his last game in the red jersey.
Charlton will miss Vetokele’s presence in the side if he does not win his fitness battle.
His movement and pace in the frontline has the potential to cause real problems for Sunderland’s defence, while his likely replacement Josh Parker has failed to score for the club since joining on loan in January.
The Addicks must hope Vetokele makes a speedy recovery, as it would be a bonus if he is even available from the bench.