Winchester City manager Ian Saunders is looking forward to an early return to EVO-STIK League Southern action for Joe Hayward after learning that the defender’s injury is not as bad as first feared.

The right-back was expected to be out for months after breaking his leg midway through the second half of Winchester City’s abandoned match at Mangotsfield United on Saturday with his side trailing to a sixth-minute Lewis Powell goal.
The EVO-STIK League Southern South & West clash was suspended for over an hour while the defender was treated on the pitch and abandoned soon after he was taken away by ambulance to hospital in Bristol.

A relieved Saunders told the local media on Tuesday that the 18-year-old could even be back back by Christmas after learning that he had broken his fibia but not his tibia bone.

The Citizens manager said: “Joe’s broken his fibula and got some soft tissue damage, but it sounds worse than it is. The fibula is not the weight-bearing bone, so it will heal quickly. If it had been the tibia it would have taken longer but we might have him back before Christmas.”

Saunders main concern now is seeing the teenager make a full recovery. He added: “It was quite distressing to see the lad wrapped in foil in the middle of the pitch. I’m from an era when you would stretcher the player off to keep him warm but you’re not allowed to move them these days. We all wish the kid well and hopefully it will be a quick recovery for him.”


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