Town chief remains hopeful that Ogbene will be fit to face the Eagles

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Forward had to pull out of Republic of Ireland squad this week

Town boss Rob Edwards remains hopeful that attacking star Chiedozie Obgene will be fit enough to face Crystal Palace tomorrow.

The 26-year-old has been in superb form since winning a starting berth in the Luton team following his arrival from Rotherham United in the summer, and was expected to play an instrumental role against the Eagles. However, Ogbene, who was named the fastest player in the Premier League so far this term, had to pull out of the Ireland squad for their latest round of matches last week, with then boss Stephen Kenny, whose contract wasn’t extended following the 1-1 draw with New Zealand, detailing the severity of the problem.

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He said: “An ankle injury has ruled him out. He hasn't been able to train this week, he hasn’t trained at all, he hasn’t been able to put his foot in a boot properly.

Chiedozie Ogbene in action for Luton against Manchester United - pic: Liam SmithChiedozie Ogbene in action for Luton against Manchester United - pic: Liam Smith
Chiedozie Ogbene in action for Luton against Manchester United - pic: Liam Smith

"He had a tight hamstring that forced him to come off late against Liverpool. He played against Manchester United last week, but he didn’t feel that he could sprint fully and has been anxious about that as well."

Despite that, Ogbene has been back at the Brache and although needed some extra care and attention to get through the training sessions, is a possibility to take on the Eagles, as Edwards said: “Chieo’s been okay.

"He had to have a little bit of time off and some treatment as well, he wasn't able to go and represent his country which he was disappointed about, but I’m hopeful with him.

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“We’ve managed to get him out on the grass and he has been sore. We’ve had to help him through a couple of days, we’re hopeful as he’s been a key player for us as well, but he has been in a lot of pain.”

Ogbene isn’t the only one who Edwards is giving until the last minute before deciding whether they are fit to feature, as he added: “There’s one or two we’re still waiting on if you like and we’ll have to see. We’re leaving people as long as we can, it’s not been an ideal international break for us.

"We’ve got a few who are on their way back and progressing well and there’s one or two that have come back from international duty and we’re still having to manage them. There’s one or two question marks over people who have been away, so it’s a little bit mixed.”