Queens Park Rangers shot-stopper Jordan Archer has missed the second-tier side’s last three competitive matches because of a collision in training, according to Mark Warburton who spoke to West London Sport ahead of tonight’s fixture against Birmingham City.
After this unspecified collision, the 28-year-old was put through concussion protocols by the club to ensure he would be ready to step in if Seny Dieng picked up an injury, something he was unable to do and failing to appear in the matchday squad since the R’s 2-1 away loss to AFC Bournemouth earlier this month.
However, the protocol process has now been completed and he will be in line to return to the bench tonight in place of teenager Joe Walsh as his side face Birmingham City at the Kiyan Prince Foundation, another side currently out of sorts after a promising start to their campaign.
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This return will be a boost for manager Warburton, who now has three solid shot-stoppers at his disposal and explained the current situation with the returning Archer, saying to West London Sport: “We had a concussion situation with Jordan and we had to go through the protocols.
“He got a smack in training, which is always a risk that we run. But Joe’s more than capable of stepping up.
“Jordan took a nasty whack, we followed the protocols and we’ve gone through that process now.”
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The 28-year-old keeper arrived in west London on a two-year deal in July, following the expiration of his contract with Championship rivals Middlesbrough who opted to recruit former QPR man Joe Lumley as their number one.
Although his spot on the bench isn’t guaranteed, he will be expecting to return to the matchday 18 as a more senior figure to potential alternative Walsh.
First of all, it’s great to see QPR take head injuries this seriously, because there was never a need to rush Archer considering how much Walsh seemingly impressed the second-tier side’s coaching staff at the start of the campaign.
As per the same report from West London Sport at the start of last month, they had previously planned to send the 19-year-old out on loan but reconsidered it after seeing him in training and reportedly saw him as a potential backup keeper to Dieng.
Considering how much the Senegalese international impressed last term, previously being touted as a potential Aaron Ramsdale replacement for promotion-chasers Sheffield United, Archer is unlikely to become number one in the near future barring an injury or suspension.
In fact, he should probably be looking over his shoulder with how impressive Walsh has been – and it wouldn’t be a major surprise to see the 28-year-old go out on loan instead of the teenager.
For Archer, regular game time would probably be valuable. But in the long term, Mark Warburton’s side may benefit from sending Walsh out on a temporary spell with a view to becoming QPR’s first-choice shot-stopper at some point in the future.