Bowyer says Chong is ahead of schedule with his injury recovery

Tahith Chong was flying on loan at Birmingham City from Manchester United before injury struck.

A freak training ground injury resulted in the youngster requiring surgery on his groin, which was awful timing with the form he was on.

That issue could well have ruled him out for the season, but Blues manager Lee Bowyer has now issued a positive update on his recovery.

He told club media that Chong is ahead of schedule and could yet feature before the end of 2021/22.

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That would be a major boost for Birmingham, where he was earning rave reviews before the injury, and Chong himself, who had found his feet for the first time on loan.

“He was at our game last weekend, so it was good to see him around,” said Bowyer of Chong.

“All I can say is that he is ahead of schedule which is good. He is back at Manchester United getting treatment and he is getting looked after.

“Fingers crossed that we see him at some stage before the end of the season.”

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Battling through the tough times is part of a young player’s development and that is what Chong has no choice but to do now.

It was best for him to go on loan again this season, with the host of forward and wide options United have and it was all going swimmingly until the bad luck of injury struck.

Chong had three assists in 13 games playing as the number 10 in Bowyer’s 3-4-1-2 formation and hopefully he will get the chance to add to that tally between now and May.

The original prognosis from Bowyer was that Chong could play the last few games of the season, so if he continues to be ahead of schedule, perhaps he could be back around March or April but that is just conjecture at this stage.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.