Coyle: Gardner Still Has A Future

  • February 07, 2012 | By Chris Mann
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Owen Coyle insists Ricardo Gardner may still have a future at Bolton, despite the player being omitted from the club's 25-man Premier League squad.

Gardner was the surprise absentee when the Wanderers squad was submitted last week, even though he hadn't featured for the first team since being sent off in a defeat at Swansea City in October.

After recovering from a thigh injury before Christmas, the 33-year-old then underwent surgery to correct a long-standing knee cartilage problem.

Coyle admits doubts over whether Gardner could play again this season were behind the decision to withdraw him from the squad, but he has refused to be drawn on speculation linking him with a move away from the Reebok Stadium when his contract expires in the summer.

"The doctor and medical staff don't think he'll be able to play again before the end of the season," Coyle told The Bolton News. "Those are his circumstances, so that's what we had to do.

"He has a knee injury and it is a real shame for him. But the thing about it is that he'll be able to come back and have a career. The decision was made and Ricardo had a big part in that.

"We could have patched it up and he could probably have got away with a month here and there, but then he would be back to square one.

"It was important for him to get it done properly and make sure he still had a footballing career."

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