Ardley prepared for life without Smith - albeit for two weeks

Richmond and Twickenham Times: Temporary return: Michael Smith looks set to return to Charlton Athletic so boss Chris Powell can run the rule over the striker Temporary return: Michael Smith looks set to return to Charlton Athletic so boss Chris Powell can run the rule over the striker

Dons boss Neal Ardley is expecting to lose striker Michael Smith for up to two weeks when his loan spell ends on January 4.

Smith is set to return to Charlton Athletic, although it is not yet known if it will be a permanent homecoming.

Ardley said: “I fully expect Michael to go back to Charlton after the New Year’s Day game.

“I don’t expect to have him for two weeks while Chris Powell has a look at him and decides what to do.

“It’s case of whether Chris sees Michael as having a place at Charlton, or if he wants him to continue his development with us, which is what we’re hoping for.”

Smith has become a fans favourite scoring nine goals in all competitions for the Dons since his arrival over the summer.

Ardley added: “If the price of getting Michael back is having the patience to cope without him for two weeks, then I think it is worthwhile doing.”

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