Tom Carroll nears his return from an ankle injury - but will he play?
Harry Redknapp says injured midfielder Tom Carroll is progressing well and could return to action after the international break – but will he win his place back?
Carroll arrived at Loftus Road on a season-long loan on transfer deadline day, and to great acclaim. The 21-year-old was sent out by Spurs to gain first-team experience, and where better than at high-flying Championship club QPR?
Redknapp is certainly an admirer of the young midfielder, who he says plays in the mould of Manchester United’s Michael Carrick and can look forward to an England career.
And Carroll made a steady start at Rangers, playing in the matches against BirminghamCity, Yeovil, Middlesbrough and Barnsley, and steadily improving alongside the likes of Joey Barton.
However, after picking up an ankle injury playing for England Under-21s, Carroll returned to Spurs for treatment, and QPR have done well without him, still sitting third in the table.
Initially, his absence was not a problem for Redknapp, who had plenty of midfield reinforcements in the likes of Alejandro Faurlin, Jermaine Jenas and Karl Henry.
Henry is a more combative option than Carroll, not to mention vastly more experienced, and was well-equipped for the trips to Millwall and Burnley, where the youngster may have been out of his depth.
Indeed, Carroll may have found it hard to break back into the side when he returns after the international break, were it not for Faurlin’s knee injury. But that injury has ensured that Carroll should now slot back into midfield alongside Barton and Henry after the international break.
It is vital for the youngster that he gets games this season, and Redknapp revealed he is closing in on his return: “Tom is still a few weeks away from full fitness,” Redknapp told West London Sport.
“It will be before Christmas, hopefully when we come back after the international break.”
Redknapp also said he wants to send striker Tom Hitchcock out on loan to get him first-team experience.
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