Derry City won't rush Michael Duffy back from injury

Derry City manager Ruaidhri Higgins has confirmed Michael Duffy’s injury was worse than first feared.

By Kevin McLaughlin
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 2:05 am
Derry City winger Michael Duffy was flying during this pre-season friendly at Drogheda United. Picture by Kevin Morrison/Event Images & Video

The 27-year-old, made his second debut for his hometown club coming on as a substitute against Drogheda United last month, but was injured in a tackle with Keith Cowan and was forced to limp off less than 10 minutes after his introduction in the 2-0 win, at a packed Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium.

A number of weeks ago the talented winger had surgery on the fractured tibia injury and it was then when the Candy Stripes found out the full extent of the problem.

“The information we got at the very start was that it was a straight forward clean break but when they went in and looked into it a bit more, it was more complicated than what we had thought,” explained Higgins.

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“We are going to have to bide our time but he’s in great hands with Michael Hegarty and Kevin McCreadie.”

The Brandywell boss has no firm return date return but insists neither Duffy nor Ciaron Harkin will be rushed back, adding if they do return towards the end of the campaign it would be a huge boost.

“I’m not sure when we’ll see Michael but we need to make sure that he’s ready when he comes back,” Higgins added.

“We’ll never put anyone in unless they are ready and he’s a long time away yet. We have to look after the players and make sure that they are getting the best possible treatment and rehabilitation, which they are but we can’t put a time on it ourselves at the minute.

“We aren’t going to look too far ahead but it would be nice if we got to a critical stage of the season and we were able to introduce a player like that but there’s a lot of work to do between now and then. There’s a lot of work for Michael to do between now and then so we’ll see how things go.”

However one man who is likely to return for tomorrow night’s home clash against UCD is striker Jamie McGonigle.

The talented frontman, who started the campaign scoring four goals in City’s opening five games, but Higgins felt he needed ‘a break’ as he hasn’t scored in their last six outings after coming on as a substitute at Drogheda United on Monday night.

“I think he just needed a breather as strikers go through those wee periods,” admitted Higgins.

“Jamie is a goalscorer and if we get him back on the road again, all he needs is the ball to drop for him and he’ll go on another run, so I felt he just needed a break.

“It’s difficult sometimes when you are going Friday, Monday and Friday again.

“If you haven’t scored in a few you can feel it a bit more as a striker, so we just brought him out of it and gave him a breather, but he’s going to have a big impact over the next few weeks.”

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