Jon Taylor set for Doncaster Rovers return in friendly with League One rivals

Jon Taylor will make his return to match action on Tuesday in a friendly against Lincoln City, Doncaster Rovers boss Richie Wellens has confirmed.

Friday, 8th October 2021, 5:04 pm
Updated Sunday, 10th October 2021, 9:53 am
Jon Taylor

Taylor has been out of action since March after suffering ankle ligament damage along with several setbacks.

He will step back onto the pitch in Tuesday’s behind-closed-doors friendly against the Imps, and is expected to be part of the squad to face Wycombe Wanderers in League One next weekend.

Wellens opted against fielding Taylor in another friendly on Friday against an academy side and feels his outing in midweek will be enough to prepare him to be on the bench against the Chairboys.

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“It wasn’t so much Friday coming too soon for him, we just didn’t want to risk him,” Wellens told the Free Press.“We were playing an academy and we don’t know what the level of players is like so it’s a bit of a risk.

“There’s probably six or seven players that need 90 minutes - the likes of Branden Horton, Charlie Seaman etc - so we don’t need to risk Jon Taylor.

“We’re playing Lincoln on Tuesday in a friendly and Jon will probably get 45 minutes.

“Then we’ll get him going.

“Tuesday’s game is really for Jon Taylor.

“Branden Horton, Charlie Seaman, AJ Greaves, Lirak Hasani - players that haven’t played much, it will top them up.

“The majority of them will have played on Friday as well so in the space of four or five days they’ll have had two 90 minutes which will really help.”

Cameron John is unlikely to feature against Lincoln but will be available to feature against Wycombe after recovering from a back injury.

“Cameron John will be in the squad for Wycombe but whether he plays 45 minutes against Lincoln or not, I’m not sure,” Wellens said.

“He’s nailed his recovery. It was something he’s probably had since pre-season and we’ve just been trying to manage it but it became a problem.

“He’s a player I like. He gives us balance on the left.

“If you look at it, and I think Joe Olowu is going to be a real player, we’ve got those four and we’re not bad at all in the centre of defence. It’s a good four to have.”

Striker Fejiri Okenabirhie is still several weeks away from making his first appearance of the season.

“I’m told Fej will be back and available to play in the first week in November,” Wellens said.

“He’s doing a lot of straight line running and he’s working in the gym but he’s not kicked a ball yet.”

Wellens believes his squad should be much healthier following the international break.

“They’ll be a lot stronger,” he said.

“And the bench will be a lot stronger as well.

“In this league if you can call on your bench for the last 20 minutes, there are players that are quick and can get you up the pitch and get goals, it makes a massive difference.

“I think Taylor will make a big difference.”

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