RORY Patterson has discovered he’s been playing and training with a fractured ankle for the past five weeks.
The City striker, who has recently recovered from knee ligament damage sustained on the opening day of the season against Bohemians at Dalymount on February 24th, had actually broken his ankle in the same match.
Patterson was sidelined for three weeks after that win against the Gypsies and had made his return against Bray Wanderers on Friday night, having resumed full training with the first team for the past fortnight.
However, his night was brought to a premature end after 31 minutes when he ‘heard a crack’ when running for the ball.
When rushed to hospital for an x-ray he discovered he had broken a bone in his ankle and underwent surgery the following day when he had a metal plate inserted.
“This injury is actually from the Bohs match, so I’ve been running around on it for the past month and it’s been broke,” he confirmed.
The thing that’s doing my head in is that I’ve been on it for a month. I thought there was a sharp pain at the time but I get those kind of whacks all the time and thought I would run it off.Rory Patterson
“I’d say it’s from the tackle which won the penalty at Bohs. I felt the pain in my leg then and thought I could run it off at the time.
“It’s been sore since but I thought it was something else. It’s been sore this week but I’ve been getting by on it. When I ran to the breaking ball I just heard a big crack.”
While the Strabane man feels it’s too early to put a time-frame on his return, it’s expected he could face up to three months out of action.
“I had to get a plate in it,” he said. “I had the operation on Saturday and the doctors are going to get this cast off in 10 days time. I’m on painkillers at the minute but haven’t really thought about putting a time frame on getting back just yet.
“The thing that’s doing my head in is that I’ve been on it for a month. I thought there was a sharp pain at the time but I get those kind of whacks all the time and thought I would run it off.
“I spoke to the doctor and told him what happened at Bohs and he told me that made sense because there was no way I could have done it by running on it.
“I don’t know what’s going on at the minute I’ll have to see when the cast comes off how I feel and then I can get a plan on getting myself back.
“When I did my knee I was told four weeks but was back in three and probably could’ve played against Drogheda but Kenny (Shiels) wanted to give me that extra couple of days training.”
Patterson’s injury is a huge blow to Shiels but the striker believes there’s no reason why Derry can’t sustain their challenge at the top of the league table in his absence given the strength of the club’s attacking options.
“We did it last year when we were missing Aaron Barry and Ryan McBride for most of the season and this season there’s more depth up front. So I don’t see it being a problem in that sense.
“Personally I’ll miss being around the team but the team will have to rally around and kick on. There’s that winning mentality there. Kenny made sure when we lost a match last year we didn’t lose two in a row so let’s hope we can repeat that.”
Meanwhile this week’s Derry City Lotto numbers were 9, 16, 20 and 23. The jackpot was £3,700.