Women's Team

Taylor provides Steph Houghton fitness update

Gareth Taylor has revealed a rough timescale on City captain Steph Houghton’s recovery from an achilles injury.

Houghton has not featured since making her 200th City appearance in the 1-0 victory over Everton at the beginning of March, picking up the knock in our 3-0 Champions League last 16 first leg triumph over Fiorentina.

And while the manager admitted that our captain will remained sidelined for at least another fortnight, he added that she has been able to step up her progress in getting back to full fitness.

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“We are probably looking between a two or three-week period minimum,” he revealed when facing the media ahead of Saturday’s WSL clash with Reading.

“I think it was just a combination of potential older injury and a nasty scrape down the achilles. But the good news now is she has seen a specialist who has confirmed that she is able to step things up now.

“That’s a real positive in her own mind that she can step forward in her rehabilitation.

“Steph has proven time and time again how important she is to this club both on and off the pitch. She’s a huge player for us and a big loss but the girls have coped and will continue to do that.

“Hopefully she’ll be back in the not too distant future and that’s something we’re really looking forward to."

Beyond the skipper's absence, Taylor added that there were no fresh injury concerns with the games coming thick and fast both on a European and domestic setting.

Reading’s visit to the Academy Stadium on Saturday is sandwiched between a two-legged Champions League quarter-final with Barcelona, before a trip to Tottenham caps off a hectic fixture period before the international break.

But the manager is pleased with both the squad’s recovery since our midweek trip to Monza as well as their attitude ahead of tomorrow’s WSL clash.

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He said: “Everyone looked good today, everyone looked fresh.

“It’s a quick turnaround in terms of the time between the games, (but) we’ll cope with that, no problem at all.

“Everyone is putting themselves forward to be ready. It’s a good game for us. We’ve been showing really good form in the league and we need to maintain that.

It was honours even in the reverse fixture against Reading back in October, with our opponents holding on for a 1-1 draw at the Madejski stadium.

And while we come into the game off the back of a phenomenal 10-game winning run in the WSL, Taylor insists he and his players will not be taking our opponents lightly.

“This is a tough game; they are all tough," he pointed out.

“They’re a team who’ve taken points off us this season, they’ve taken points off other teams as well, so they’re not to be underestimated.

"But I’d like to see a positive response from our team on our patch. We’re looking forward to it.”

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