'Let's do it for Patrick' says brother Shane McEleney

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​SHANE McEleney has backed his brother Patrick to return 'stronger and fitter than ever' following the Derry City captain's successful surgery on his broken and dislocated elbow yesterday afternoon.

The Shantallow man sustained the 'freak' injury in the second half of Monday night's 3-0 win over Waterford at Brandywell and was stretchered off the pitch as his older brother Shane helplessly watched on.

'Fats' emerged from surgery in a positive mood and immediately informed his nearest and dearest in the McEleney family Whatsapp group that everything had gone to plan.

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Shane was delighted to hear his brother in good spirits after another devastating injury blow and while it could take up to 12 weeks to heal, he's confident the City playmaker will be back on the pitch long before that.

"He has no luck," began Shane. "I think the only positive we can take from the overall situation is that it wasn't his knee or his leg. "It was just one of those freak accidents and he landed on his elbow. That's the only thing I can take positive from it all.

"You know what? He's not down in the dumps by any means because it wasn't his leg. He's being positive about it and knows it was a freak accident.

"Nine times out of 10 he's probably going to fall on his shoulder. He might've hurt his shoulder as well because of the weight of the fall but you wouldn't normally dislocate your elbow and break it in the same movement.

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"So he's staying positive about the whole thing. He knows he can get back in and keep his fitness topped up after a couple of weeks off and get back on the bike and stuff.

Shane McEleney looks on as his brother Patrick is treated on the pitch after breaking  his elbow. Photograph by Kevin Moore.Shane McEleney looks on as his brother Patrick is treated on the pitch after breaking  his elbow. Photograph by Kevin Moore.
Shane McEleney looks on as his brother Patrick is treated on the pitch after breaking his elbow. Photograph by Kevin Moore.

"I think it's 10 to 12 weeks recovery but, knowing him, he'll probably be back in eight," laughed the City defender. “You can only be optimistic about the whole thing but we'll see how he gets on. He only got out of surgery an hour ago and he was writing in the family Whatsapp group so he seems to be alright."

The three-time League of Ireland Premier Division winner has been so influential in recent weeks since returning from a troublesome groin injury, playing a key role in goals against Sligo and Waterford. His absence will be sorely felt but Shane has urged his teammates to ensure he returns to a team in a position of strength and battling on all fronts.

"It's a massive loss for us. There's no two ways about it. It's no coincidence we were 3-0 up after his first start. He just controls games. On his day, I'm not just saying it because he's my brother, but I think he's the best player in the league.

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"It's just unfortunate for us as a squad and for him personally. Knowing Patrick I think he'll be back fitter and stronger than ever. Once he does get that fitness back there will be no stopping him!

"He's a driving force for us and he's a talented player but he's a good leader around the place. He's not club captain for the sake of it. I think if we can do any justice for Fats it's just staying in the hunt and trying to be there when he gets back from injury which will be an even better help for us."

Fats is the go-to man when Derry are needing to break down a stubborn opposition and Shane knows without him, Derry will need to be at their best to clinch three points against Galway tonight.

"Tomorrow night's game. we're coming up against a well organised Galway side who don't concede too many goals so hopefully we can change that tomorrow.

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"You have to keep a good home record in this league especially if you're going to achieve anything so we have to try and keep on top of that.

"We know what we're going to get. It will be long throws and they’ll try to turn you and they're physical and direct. We've played them twice and know what they're about but hopefully we can enforce our game on theirs more than them on us.

“They're a physical team and Ollie [Horgan] and John [Caulfield] will have them well organised so it won't be an easy match but it's one we're looking forward to knowing we're coming off a good win.

"Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire and hopefully we can do that on Friday.”

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