Assistant boss Gav Skelton confirmed this afternoon that a scan on midfielder Jamie Devitt’s thigh has confirmed that there is a tear, with an as yet unknown period of rehab set to follow.
“He’s had a scan and it isn’t great news,” he said. “We’re waiting on the finer details but it won’t be just one or two weeks, it might be a little bit longer than that.
“It should become much clearer for us and him in the coming days as to the extent of it. Obviously he’s disappointed, it’s a different injury so that makes it even more frustrating, because he’s worked hard to get fit.
“We’ve all seen the quality he has and the influence he can have out on the pitch, so it’s frustrating for everybody, to be honest. It’s just one of those things, so let’s wait and see how long he’s going to be out for, and we can take it from there.”
“It’s holding him back and it’s holding us back, so it’s frustration all round for everybody,” he added. “It’s happened, we have to deal with it, and we hoped the news wasn’t going to be too bad.
“Unfortunately the scan has shown that there is a tear in his thigh so that’ll need taking care of. He’s a massive part of the squad, but we’re not sure on the timescale yet. We’ll get more detail off the physio and specialists, then we can let everybody know.”
And for a player who just wants to be out there, it’s bound to have dealt a blow to morale as he faces time away from the main training sessions.
“It will be tough, I think he was disappointed when getting the news which is natural, anyone would be,” he commented. “But knowing him, he will probably be flat for a day or so, then he’ll come in, and he’s always positive around the lads.
“He has a real good impact around everybody and that will stay the same, it’s how he is. But we’ll have to rally around him because it’s disappointing news for him.”
And on Ryan Edmondson, he explained: “He’s getting there. He’s not back jogging on the pitch yet, he’ll probably start that next week.
“Hopefully, touching wood, he doesn’t feel anything and can progress with that. It’s not going to be this weekend or next Tuesday, but hopefully in the coming days he can start doing some running and continue building towards a return to training.
“None of the lads we’re talking about are going to be back in the next few days. Ben Barclay was out on the grass today doing a few runs, so that’s good news.
“Tobi Sho-Silva should be getting closer in the next couple of weeks, and Joel Senior won’t be too far off from starting with jogging and running. Hopefully we’ll see people coming back, maybe not in the medium term, but certainly in the not too far distant future.”
Injuries, of course, bring disruption for coaches and players, but the policy at Brunton Park is to try to do things properly, however tempting a quicker than expected return may be for all concerned.
“I won’t lie to you, I’m the kind of person who thinks they should be ok if they’re training to a certain level, but Ross our physio is excellent at his job and he’s very disciplined,” he told us. “He keeps us right because there can be a temptation to perhaps rush things, and that could mean that we’d make things worse and they’d miss out for even longer.
“Credit to him and the medical staff and hopefully they’ll get these lads back in good condition. Don’t get me wrong, I do get frustrated, but it really is what it is. You have to get on with it.
“What this does is give other people an opportunity and sometimes you can be disrespectful to the players who are fit and available, and they can think - hey, what about me. At the moment our players are giving us everything and hopefully we can start to turn that into wins.”
“And we have to remember it is hard for the lads who are out,” he continued. “The lads get round them, but no matter what you say, try to involve them, they don’t feel part of it, it’s impossible, they’re on a totally different training schedule.
“You keep talking to them, the physios and staff here are really supportive and give them as much support and detail, keep setting goals, it’s goal-setting each month.
“Joel Senior’s been in Manchester working on a new, modern kind of running machine, so there’s different ways of mixing it up. It’s trying to keep them fresh and their spirits are up.
“You see Joel in that gym, the work he puts in, doing different stuff, for that length and period of time, you watch him and he never cuts corners. You keep a little eye sometimes.
“I hope when he gets fit he has no recurrence and he gets rewarded for the work he’s committed to. Not just him, Josh and Brennan, they’re going through that.
“It’s the dark side of football where they are working on their own for hours a day, looking at those four walls. When the players moan outside sometimes, they want to realise how lucky they are not to be stuck in the gym on their own, and being out on that pitch, able to train in the fresh air.”
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