Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt has confirmed that defender Eoin Toal is edging closer to a return to first team action, according to The Bolton News.
The 24-year-old picked up an ankle injury whilst on international duty with Northern Ireland last month, withdrawing from the squad ahead of the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Denmark and Kazakhstan.
Signed from Derry City last summer, Toal became a key member of Bolton’s squad last season before picking up an injury in the EFL Trophy final win over Plymouth Argyle in April. Although he was then expected to miss the remainder of the campaign, the centre-back returned for the final few games and played in the play-off semi final defeat against Barnsley.
It was believed that he would be fit enough to return for the Trotters’ pre-season campaign, although those hopes were later quashed.
What Has Been Said?
Speaking to Bolton News, boss Ian Evatt confirmed that Toal is likely to miss today’s friendly against West Bromwich Albion, although could return in the coming weeks.
“(West Brom) is a little bit soon, but we have had really positive signs with him over the last week.
“He is back running again and doing everything with that ankle, which is probably a little bit sooner that we thought.
“We are pleased with that one and fingers crossed, possibly not for the first game of the season but pretty soon after that he will be ready to play.”
Bolton kick off their season at home against Lincoln City next weekend before hosting Barrow in the EFL Cup the following Tuesday.
Eoin Toal adapted to life in League One last season with ease and his call-up to the Northern Ireland squad in the summer came as no surprise.
Bolton will be hoping that they can end their stay in the third tier this season and return to the Championship, and Toal is likely to play a key role.
It will be a blow to hear he could miss the season opener against the Imps next weekend, but Bolton fans will be keen to see him hit the ground running in the weeks that follow.