RYAN McBride has absolved Dundalk’s Patrick Hoban of all blame for his role in the horrific incident which hospitalised the Derry City defender on Monday night.
The Brandywell lad, who had a seizure after colliding with Hoban in the first half of the game at Oriel Park, was released from Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda this morning after his scans and X-rays came back clear.
And despite nursing pain in his head and neck, the battle-hardened centre-half met up with his Derry City colleagues at this afternoon’s training session at the Vale Centre in Greysteel.
McBride, who was treated on the pitch for 13 minutes after a clash of heads before he was transferred to hospital, remembers little about the incident.
He woke up in hospital later that night and was kept in the following day (Tuesday) as a precaution and for further tests.
In fact, the brave Derry defender revealed that he has since received a text message from Hoban apologising for the incident and wishing him well in his recovery.
“All I remember is going up for the ball and winning it but after that it was lights out and I don’t know what happened immediately after that,” recalled McBride. “Next thing I remember was waking up in hospital.”
McBride doesn’t believe there was any malice in the challenge. “I don’t think Hoban meant it. He actually sent me a text today saying that he felt sorry for what happened and told me he didn’t mean to do it and he was hoping I was okay.
“I don’t remember much about the actual incident. I know I won the ball first but I don’t remember the aftermath and getting stretchered off the pitch.
“I don’t think he intentionally went out to do me damage. In football you do everything to win three points and score goals but you don’t go out to hurt people.”
Thankfully the player did not sustain any serious damage, however, McBride will miss this Friday night’s clash with Athlone Town at Brandywell and is expected to be sidelined for up to two weeks.
And that has annoyed McBride more than anything as he had been hoping to get a steady run in the side after starting the season so well.
“I’m grand now,” he added. “I’ve got a sore head and a sore neck and they had to keep me in the hospital to make sure everything was okay.
“I’ll probably be out for a couple of weeks now. I was playing well and I was trying to keep that form going but, obviously, I’m going to miss Friday’s game and I’ll probably be out for two weeks which is frustrating.
“It’s great to see all the support I’m getting on Facebook and text messages and a message from Pat Hoban as well which was nice to see,” he concluded.
However, Derry City boss, Roddy Collins wasn’t so forgiving towards Hoban for his role in the incident after the match, the Dubliner claimed the Dundalk striker had set out to hurt his player.
“He done him,” declared Collins during a radio interview afterwards. “I believe he done him. I think the referee bottled it, for sure.
“At the end of the day, regardless of whether you win, lose or draw, someone coming in and doing someone like that is not on. It’s cowardly.”
Hoban, in turn, responded angrily to Collins’ comments on his Twitter account, refuting suggestions he had the intention to cause McBride an injury. “To say I went on the pitch to hurt someone is beyond ridiculous,” he said.
“Contesting for the ball...nothing more. Hope McBride is okay.”