Aneke and Sow are still a long way off playing for Dons again

Chuks Aneke hasn't kicked a ball this summer
Chuks Aneke hasn't kicked a ball this summer

Dons boss Paul Tisdale admitted feeling a little frustrated having gone through the pre-season campaign without being able to see Chuks Aneke nor Osman Sow.

The injured pair have missed every kick of the pre-season campaign, with Aneke only taking part in one training session with the rest of the team, while Sow remains a long-term doubt.

With both struggling with injuries throughout last season, and Aneke even longer than that, their lay-offs are a growing concern, and when asked about his missing forwards Aneke and Sow, Tisdale said: "They're not ready to play, and haven't really featured in training yet either.

"Chuks has trained once but I wasn't there. There has been a step made there, but in terms of selectability - clearly you have to train before you can play.

"Osman is recovering and is edging closer. It's not just around the corner, we're talking some weeks yet. And Chuks has bridged the gap between not training and training, we just have to train him for a while.

"It's a shame because I've had a month to form as much of an opinion as possible, but that's the nature of it. I won't learn everything in the first few weeks, especially if players are injured. I'd have liked to see them play but as yet no."

This was a familiar sight for MK Dons fans last season as Osman Sow suffered regular injuries

This was a familiar sight for MK Dons fans last season as Osman Sow suffered regular injuries

Add to that Brandon Thomas-Asante's ankle injury, the same for Sam Nombe and both Callum Brittain and Oran Jackson limping out of Friday night's friendly win over Oxford, and Tisdale is left without some key players heading into the first game of the season next Saturday away at Oldham.

The manager added: "We've had too many injured this pre-season. A lot of our young players have picked up knocks. We haven't seen Brandon or Sam (Nombe) out here, and of course Callum and Oran went off injured today. These circumstances come up along the way. I've got trust in young players, but it's always easier to bring them into a team that is doing well rather than one that is struggling.

"There was no point risking Oran so late in the day, but I've not had the chance to see Callum. He picked up a really nasty knock so I'm keeping my fingers crossed on that one.

"Brandon is on crutches, as is Sam. They're both in those snow-boots with crutches. They're keepoing a brave face - and Brandon smiles all the time! They're both spirited and we wish them well. They'll be a while yet.

Brandon Thomas-Asante suffered an injury in the first game against St Neots after recovering from an ankle injury last season

Brandon Thomas-Asante suffered an injury in the first game against St Neots after recovering from an ankle injury last season