Manager Simon Grayson gave an update on the injuries to Greg Cunningham and skipper Tom Clarke after Easter Monday’s clash with Norwich City.
“Greg’s got a fracture to his leg which means he’ll be out for the rest of the season, but hopefully he’ll be back for pre-season,” he explained. “
“He’s a top a lad and tried to carry on. A brave, brave player, one of the best players that I signed at this football club and it’s unfortunate that this incident has happened. Obviously it’s serious, but it’s not too serious that it’s going to rule him out for months and months. I think it’s a six-week turnaround which will have him ready for the pre-season, so we’ll get him sorted and see him in pre-season.”
However, the prognosis on Clarke was worse, with potentially a ten month lay-off for the defender: “It’s another big blow for us,” continued the gaffer. “Tom suffered a ruptured Achilles, which is going to be eight to ten months or something like that. This is a massive blow to the player first and foremost and ultimately us as a team.
“It’s horrible when you see Tom stay down as he did on Friday; when he does that you know there’s something wrong. He then went for a scan and the results have come back as what we expected, but we didn’t want to hear the news.
“It’s a devastating blow because he’s been fantastic for this club. He’s suffered a poor injury in the past with his cruciate and come back stronger and played the games that he has done, and he’ll do the same again when he comes back from the Achiles tendon injury.
“We’ll look after him as we do with all the players and make sure that he comes back fitter and stronger and we wish him well.”
And Simon reflected on the poor luck his side have suffered in terms of big injuries, with the likes of Baptiste, Browning, Woods and now Clarke and Cunningham all ruled out for considerable periods.
“I don’t think we’ve had too much luck right the way through the season and that comes with decisions as well. We go back to Friday, the assessors have been in touch to say that the penalty should never have been given, so that’s bad luck, but ultimately the long-term injuries to certain players is obviously hard to take.
“It is part and parcel of football, but it’s just been one of those seasons where not a lot has gone right for us in that aspect, but we’ve still had a good season and we’ve got to make sure as a group we stay together. We are determined and we’ve got to make sure we go to Newcastle in a week’s time and put in a proper performance that represents what we’re all about.”