Clarets Cruciate Curse!
News broke this week that our loan defender, Russell Anderson would be out for the rest of the season after picking up cruciate ligament damage against Fulham in the Carling Cup at Turf Moor last Tuesday night.
An innocent challenge by Fulham`s Dempsey led to Russell Anderson falling awkwardly and injuring his knee with just 12 minutes of the game played.He had to be stretchered off and was replaced ironically by Michael Duff, no stranger himself to the cruciate curse.
The omens looked bleak with Anderson leaving the ground on crutches and our worst fears were confirmed later in the week after the swelling had gone down and the scan proved the terrible news
Anderson had been brought in on a season-long loan from Sunderland to bolster a defence looking decidingly shell-shocked and gaff prone after the first few games of the season. Although a centre back, he was tried at full back in the games he played and helped hold the defence together as the back four steadily improved.
In some respects, although losing Anderson will be a huge loss, thankfully the improvements in defence anyway after Alexander moved into the holding role in front of the back four perhaps makes the terrible news less of a blow.
Captain Steven Caldwell has been a much improved rock in defence in recent matches and has been supported well by both Clarke Carlisle and Stephen Jordan. Christian Kalvenes waits in the wings and Michael Duff is getting better and better as he returns to full match fitness following his cruciate injury that kept him sidelined for most of last season.
Last season was a double blow for the Clarets in this department with Besart Berisha also picking up the cursed condition in an Albanian international against Malta.
Berisha is still waiting to make his full debut for the Clarets but thanfully has now returned to fitness after missing the whole of 2007/8 and is currently out on loan with Norwegian side, Rosenborg.
Our former keeper, Danny Coyne, now at Tranmere also picked up a cruciate ligament injury rupturing both his medial and anterior cruciate ligaments. That kept him out for 14 months and he never again really challenged for the Number One keeper's shirt with the Clarets before being released.
Our former defender, Wayne Thomas, now at Southampton also suffered many injuries during his stay with the Clarets including of course the cruciate curse although he did return to full fitness quicker than most.
Are we just unlucky or do other clubs suffer this injury to their players with the same regularity? It was not even a condition you heard about in the 1960s and 1970s, everybody then just seemed to do in their cartilage! Lots of theories have been banded about that this type of injury has more to do with the less protective boots that modern day footballers wear and maybe that is something that should be looked at more in this health & safety conscious world we now live in.
Oh well, that will be the last we shall see of Russell Anderson, which is a shame and he will now return no doubt to Sunderland to be nursed back to full fitness. We wish him well.
Due to the fact our defence looks fairy solid at the moment I doubt if Owen Coyle wil be tempted to bring in an emergency loan although maybe he will look at the back four situation come the January transfer window depending on how well we are performing.
We will leave the last words to Owen Coyle on the Anderson blow:
'My thoughts are with Russell because he`s been outstanding ever since he came in. I know he`s had his problems before but I`ve no doubts that he`ll bounce back a stronger player.
"He`s played a big part in what we`ve done at the back, but it would be very selfish of me to say it`s a blow to the club.
"Of course it is, but it`s also a blow to Russell and that`s where our thoughts are at the moment.
"I wasn`t anticipating good news and I expected him to be out for a period of time but this is a big blow for everyone."