Express & Star

Adam Chambers targets Christmas return for Walsall

Walsall boss Dean Keates is hopeful skipper Adam Chambers will be available for selection before the end of the year.

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The 37-year-old has been unavailable since breaking his foot in the opening-day victory over Plymouth.

That break ensured the Saddlers have been without two key central midfielders this season with Joe Edwards also sidelined with an anterior cruciate knee ligament injury picked up against Blackburn in February.

But while Keates revealed last week Edwards could return before the end of the month, he said Chambers could also be available around Christmas time.

“Chambo is not too far away,” the boss said. “He is nowhere near as close as Joe Edwards.

“It’s been a long injury for him. But hopefully he’ll be around the Christmas mark as well.”

Walsall, who played Port Vale in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday, travel to take on Fleetwood on Saturday for a clash that has been moved to a noon kick-off for live television coverage.

It means Keates has had to tinker with his training schedule in preparation for the game.

And he said they will train at Blackburn Rovers’ Brockhall Training Ground tomorrow as they continue to ramp up their preparations.

“The players were in yesterday, there was a debrief on Port Vale,” the boss continued.

“The lads who weren’t involved trained.

“Thursday is our day off then we will travel up on Friday morning and train up at Blackburn.”

Meanwhile, Keates was left frustrated with the Afghanistan FA after they changed the flights of winger Maz Kouhyar - ensuring he couldn’t play against Port Vale.

“It was a frustrating one to be honest,” the manager added.

“He was down to play and should have played against Port Vale.

“Then at the weekend, we were told his flights had been changed. He had to fly out on Tuesday morning when we were expecting him to fly out on Wednesday.

“It was a little bit bit frustrating because he was down to play. But it is what it is.”