Charlton were dealt a heavy blow this week in the form of an ankle injury to Krystian Bielik – the Arsenal loanee returned early from international duty with Poland Under-21’s and Lee Bowyer is not expecting any good news regarding his defender.
The Addicks boss admitted to The South London Press: “Krystian is a worry. He came back early after his game. He’s hurt his ankle and we’re not sure how long he is going to be out.
“He went for a scan. We don’t know how serious it is yet, but it doesn’t look too good.”
The young Pole has been a solid signing for the Addicks this season and his versatility has been a huge asset to Bowyer, particularly in recent weeks when the fixtures have stacked up heavily.
Predominantly playing as a holding midfielder for Charlton, the number 4 is a centre-half by trade and so when Bowyer made big changes to his XI for the Bristol Rovers clash, Bielik was deployed in a back-three instead.
While a 0-0 stalemate is far from a result to be thrilled with, the conditions were appalling and the Addicks, with standout performances from Anfernee Dijksteel and Josh Cullen, did well to keep a clean sheet.
The aforementioned midfielder has been brilliant since signing on loan from West Ham and has deputised for Bielik when the defender has been out – he will likely have to continue at the base of Bowyer’s diamond from now on if the 21-year-old Gunner’s injury is as bad as the Charlton boss fears.
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Bielik’s injury also means that Bowyer will struggle to return to a back-three set-up – the Pole offered ball-carrying and passing abilities from deep that are unmatched in the Charlton ranks – so expect the orthodox midfield diamond to return and stay against Bradford this weekend.