Carlisle United’s Jack Robinson suffers stress fracture

In the latest injury to hit the Blues in their League One relegation campaign, the versatile Robinson has suffered a painful end to his season.

The ex-Middlesbrough man went over on his ankle in the first half of last weekend’s defeat to Blackpool.

And, speaking ahead of the final home game of the season against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday, manager Paul Simpson said Robinson was awaiting further assessment before determining whether he needs surgery.

“He’s had a scan and it’s shown that there’s a stress fracture of his tibia,” said Simpson.

“We’re waiting for a booking for a CT scan which will show the extent of the damage.

“We think there’s a possibility that may need surgery, possibly to pin it because of the fracture there. If that’s the case, the worst case scenario could be four months.”

Such a lay-off would leave Robinson at risk of missing the start of next season back in League Two.

United have been dogged by injuries all campaign and that remains the case right to the bitter end, although Fin Back could return to the squad this weekend having rejoined full training after a calf problem.

On Robinson, the Blues manager added: “It was an innocuous thing – his studs got caught in the ground and he went over.

“The radiographer thinks there must have been some sort of damage to the bone there anyway, where he wasn’t feeling any symptoms, and just going over on it has caused this problem.

“We’ve already lined up an ankle specialist to go and see, but we need the CT scan before it. Jack’s in a lot of pain at the moment with it. He came in on Monday, got the scan on Tuesday, so he’s stayed at home at the moment because he can’t drive and his family are over in the north east.

“We need the CT scan just to see the exact extent of the damage then the ankle specialist will make that decision.”

Also on the fitness front ahead of the penultimate game of 2023/24, Dylan McGeouch returned to full training on Thursday after a calf problem but is unlikely to be considered for action until the last match of the campaign at Derby County next weekend.

Josh Kayode has shown no ill-effects despite losing teeth in a challenge against Blackpool.

Simpson, meanwhile, said a return to the fold for Jordan Gibson and Alfie McCalmont – who’ve been left out of the last three matchday squads following a night-out disciplinary incident – could be more possible this weekend.

“They’ve had a full week of training now,” said Simpson.

“It’s a really tricky one in this scenario because for me, they deserved to be disciplined.

“They came in, held their hands up, admitted they’d made a mistake. They’ve accepted their punishment and have got on with training this week.

“I didn’t think it was right to put them in last weekend. But for me they are available and I think once you punish somebody, you have to move on. We have to draw a line under it at some point and that’s what we’ll do.”

Carlisle’s injuries have hampered their futile survival bid all campaign.

Simpson reflected: “Going back as far as the Accrington game in the EFL Trophy (in September) when JJ (Kayode) dislocates his shoulder, then Callum Guy does his ACL, we’ve got Jokull Andresson picking up an injury that either our or Reading’s medical season have never seen, Terry Ablade ruptures his thigh…right through we’ve had some horrendous ones. Then JJ follows on and picks up a niggly calf injury.

“Georgie Kelly comes in (on February’s deadline day)…somebody said to me the signing of Georgie looked like we’d given up on the season because he wasn’t fit. And that was absolutely not the case.

“We expected Georgie to be fit the following weekend and he did as well, but unfortunately when he started to do his running, he just got this soleus (calf muscle) problem which set him back for weeks.

“I can assure everybody when we signed Georgie it wasn’t giving up on the season, we were thinking Georgie was going to help us this season. Sadly it’s taken a long time to get him out there.

“Unfortunately the nature of football at the moment (is that) every club’s picking up injuries. I think when you’re struggling, as well, like we have, you pick them up even more for some reason.

“I said this recently – when we went to Wembley last year we had 100p per cent availability of players. We’re certainly not at that number now. I don’t know what the percentage is but there’s far too many who’ve been injured who we’ve had missing.”

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