BY RICHARD CAWLEY
Charlton manager Lee Bowyer says he will be surprised if Lyle Taylor is not fit to face his former club AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.
The striker, a summer signing after his Dons deal expired, assisted both goals in Tuesday’s 2-1 win at Portsmouth. But he left Fratton Park with a protective boot on his right foot after a tackle with Ben Thompson, who was shown a straight red card.
Bowyer expects to be missing Karlan Grant, who came off with a hamstring injury in the first half, but reckons Taylor will be available.
“I’m 99.9 per cent sure that Karlan won’t be involved,” he said. “He has got something there with his hamstring and is going for a scan today. We don’t know how serious it is.
“The way Lyle is and the who we are playing, I’ll be amazed if he doesn’t step out there on Saturday. When he had an injury before he just kept playing when he really shouldn’t have. But he said: ‘I want to play’. I’m guessing he’ll be the same on Saturday.
“It just depends how bad it is. It was swollen straight after the game.
“Will he be 100 per cent? No he won’t. But he gets out there.”
Mark Marshall is a doubt after sustaining a rib injury while Krystian Bielik suffered a facial blow as Thompson caught him with an elbow in the second half.
“To be fair he should have gone in earlier for the ball,” said Bowyer. ‘It bounced and they were both running – Krystian was favourite probably, 60-40 in his favour. Then he checked his run and it left him open.
“The lad led with his arm and caught him but I don’t think it was malicious and that he meant to do it. It is a protection thing. They are both running at speed from different directions and it’s a protection thing, everyone does it.
“It didn’t look good but if Krystian didn’t hesitate and won it cleanly then he probably wouldn’t get hurt.”