Max Clayton will potentially miss the first week of the season after Neil Lennon admitted he is still "three or four weeks away."
If it's three, then happy days. He'll be fit and (hopefully) firing for the opening match against Derby County. If it's four then he'll miss that game and potentially the Capital One Cup game against Burton Albion. The natural pessimism that I have from following Bolton for so long makes me think that it could be longer than four weeks. The whole quote from Lennon is:
"There's Max Clayton, who people seem to forget about, hopefully he'll be fit in three or four weeks so he'll be like a new signing for us as well."
The use of the word 'hopefully' is the one that worries me and you do have to err on the side of caution with serious knee injuries like Max's, so he might be out for a little longer yet. He also used the 'new signing' cliché which makes me think we won't sign any more strikers but that's for another time... Either way, I think Clayton will be a big part of the way we play this season so let's hope it is sooner rather than later.
The injury problems seemed to have piled up again this pre-season with Wheater, Heskey, Clough and Trotter (don't laugh) all carrying knocks and Josh Vela being sent home from Austria with a mystery virus. However they are all apparently minor niggles and we should look a lot stronger once everyone's back and we get Tim Ream back in one piece from the Gold Cup.
With that the blind optimism returns and I won't even think about what happened the last time one of our players went away to the Gold Cup.