Defender Thomas O’Ware faces at least a month on the sidelines after a recent scan showed he has suffered a stress fracture in his ankle, Jim Duffy has confirmed.
The 24-year-old had been struggling since returning to pre-season training, causing concerns that he was experiencing a negative reaction to the tidy-up operation he underwent back in May.
O’Ware had the problem assessed by a specialist on Friday and the cause identified as an unrelated stress fracture that requires him to spend approximately four weeks wearing a protective boot.
Speaking to gmfc.net after yesterday’s pre-season friendly against Turriff United, gaffer Duffy explained: “We’ve had issues with injuries, with Thomas O’Ware and Lee Kilday, as I’ve mentioned.
“Regarding Thomas, we had a real blow yesterday [Friday] when we discovered he has a stress fracture in his ankle, so he’s going to be out for a number of weeks now.
“He had a clean-up operation in the summer, but this is just random. It’s not anything to do with that; it’s just one of these unfortunate things that happen.
“He picked it up in the first week of pre-season. In the next week he didn’t train, and we just thought it was maybe inflammation as part of the recovery or a reaction, but he wasn’t able to shrug it off.
“So we knew there was something untoward and he went for a scan, and it’s shown that he’s got a stress fracture. He’s in one of those protective boots for the next month or so, and then we’ll see how it goes.
“Obviously we’ve got Lee out as well, so Ricki [Lamie] and Darren Barr came in today. Both had been injured, so again it was a good attitude from their point of view.
“They weren’t maybe 100 per cent fit, but they knew we were struggling in that area and got good game time before we made changes and took the two of them off. That helped us as well.”
Duffy had a look at trialist centre-half Jack Iredale in the final 30 minutes against Turriff, and he added: “Young Jack has just turned 21 in May and he’s a player who was brought to our attention.
“We had him in yesterday [Friday] and played him in a bounce game. Then we brought him up today and will have him in next week for training and have a look at it.
“Thomas was only identified yesterday after a scan so we’ll take a few days to properly assess it and we’ll decide whether we need to look at that area or not.”
Image (main): David Bell
Image (inset): Gary Bradley