Wolverhampton Wanderers’ club record signing Kevin Doyle could miss the beginning of his new club’s Premier League campaign after manager Mick McCarthy revealed the £6.5?million striker had undergone a hernia operation.
The former Reading player joined the club last month but has yet to play a part in the pre-season build up initially with the club stating he had a minor “niggle”.
But the Wolves’ manager confirmed last night in the club’s 1-0 victory over neighbours Walsall that Doyle had undergone surgery on Monday and would now need “a few weeks to recover.”
McCarthy said: “Kevin has had a hernia op yesterday but we hope to get him back within a couple of weeks.
“He is a very fit young lad and I don’t foresee any real problems.”
The Ireland international will however be some way off the fitness of the rest of the team which did at least have good news with star striker Sylvan Ebanks-Blake revealing he has secured his future at Wolves by signing a new four-year deal.
Andrew Surman confirmed the cliché that a player loves his old stomping ground when he rattled home his first goal for new employers Wolves on the pitch where he had made his senior Football League debut four seasons ago for Walsall on loan from Southampton.
Mick McCarthy’s summer acquisition was, in the end, the difference between these two Black Country sides despite the fact that, thanks to the Wanderers’ achievements last term, there are now two full leagues between them.
McCarthy chose to field a clutch of first team stars including Sylvan Ebanks-Blake, Andy Keogh and Wayne Hennessey while Saddlers’ boss Chris Hutchings utilised the game to give his League One side a run out as they cope with life after Anthony Gerrard et al.
The early exchanges saw Wolves underline their superior status with the two front men feasting on the excellent ball played for them by left-winger George Friend.
Rene Gilmartin in Saddlers’ goal was certainly the busier keeper in the opening 15 minutes although Walsall were out to make an impression with Josh O’Keefe twice seeing his efforts blocked on the line by Wolves’ Celtic triallist Bobo Balde before winger Richard Taundry was thwarted by the bravery of Jody Craddock.
As Wolves pressed however Mark Hughes found Ebanks-Blake difficult to pin down and the England Under-21 striker, with 25 goals last term, was soon turning provider to find Keogh.
The Irish youngster chested the ball directly to the feet of Surman who made no mistake with his low-slung, left-footed strike from some 25 yards.