191003 Bostwick MA

Michael Appleton admitted that City defender Michael Bostwick is still a short while away from fitness following a calf injury sustained in the Bristol Rovers fixture.

The 31-year-old who has made 115 appearances for the Imps in little over two years, was forced off at half-time in the 1-0 defeat to Bristol Rovers in September.

The defender hasn't featured for the Imps since, and is looking doubtful for City's first fixture against Sunderland this millennium, Appleton revealed.

"Michael is still a bit away," Appleton said.

"He’s still based in the gym at this moment in time and building up the strength in his calf.

"We’re hoping to get him on the pitch at some point over the next week or so. But, because of the type of injury that it is, it might be a bit of a slow burner."

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Bostwick has made more than 600 appearances in his career so far since making his senior debut in April 2006.

"He’s the type of player that will play with injuries. For a manager, it can be great at times as you have someone who is prepared to go through the pain.

"Ultimately sometimes it can catch up on people, however."

Although Bostwick isn't back on the training pitch at the moment, Appleton is hoping that taking extra care with the 2018/19 Player of the Season's recovery process, it will benefit the team in the long term. 

"Mike and the medical staff are doing the sensible thing with Michael's recovery and hopefully that will benefit him in the long run," Appleton said.