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Rib injury left Burke struggling to breathe but Luton defender isn't expected to be missing for too long

Rib injury left Burke struggling to breathe but Luton defender isn’t expected to be missing for too long

Hatters defender Reece Burke
Hatters defender Reece Burke

A training ground injury that left defender Reece Burke struggling to breathe saw him miss Wednesday night’s 2-2 draw against Coventry City.

The 26-year-old had been absent for Town’s opening game of the season against Birmingham, before coming on in the 1-1 draw with Burnley, going on to start the next six games in all competitions.

A blow to the head forced the former West Ham and Hull centre back off in the 2-1 win at Cardiff, as he had to sit out the following 2-1 defeat to Wigan.

He was then missing from the teamsheet again in midweek, although Luton boss Nathan Jones confirmed it had been a different problem this time, saying: “He just had a crack on his rib in training.

“His head was fine, no problem at all and then had a crack on his rib.

“Not necessarily (out for a long time), he was having some trouble breathing, so we couldn’t risk him, that’s what it was.”

Although a return against Blackburn Rovers tomorrow might come too soon, Jones could well shuffle his defensive pack again, with Tom Lockyer aiming for a recall, after the manager was critical of a ‘nervous’ back three containing Gabe Osho, Sonny Bradley and Dan Potts, who struggled to cope with Coventry’s attacking threat in midweek.

Jones added: “If we get all of them fit then we’ve got options.

“Reece Burke was out which meant we had to make a change somewhere else, but we had no control in the game.

“Our back three weren’t dominant enough, all four centre forwards looked a real handful, ours and theirs to be fair, but from our point of view, our back three weren’t dominant enough.

“We couldn’t really get on the front foot and really press, so that caused us a real, real issue, and every time we turned the ball over they looked a threat, so we had no control really in the game.

“We’ve led twice, but realistically, second half, they could have won it, we could have won it, it was too open really.”

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