Torquay United's Saul Halpin waits for injury verdict
Torquay United winger Saul Halpin faces a crucial week in his fight to regain fitness after a persistent ankle injury.
Cornwall-born Halpin, 21, has been on the sidelines through the Gulls’ pre-season and early weeks of the campaign proper, and it has now been confirmed that he has a small crack in an ankle bone.
United’s hospital consultant and physiotherapist Damian Davey both hope that Halpin, from Bodmin, might recover without the need for surgery.
Davey explained: “Saul has a fracture, a crack, to the navicular bone in his ankle, and it may have been there for quite a long time.
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“He has had two MRI scans and one CT scan now, so we know exactly what the problem is. The latest scan at the weekend shows the bruising around the crack calming, which is a good sign.
“He is wearing an air-cast boot, which allows him to do exercises three times a day. We’re being helped by Mr James Davies from Torbay Hospital – he is a good friend of the club and one of the top consultants not just in the UK but internationally.
“Saul is going to do an increasing amount of work each day over the next week, and we’ll keep monitoring his ankle and see how it reacts. If the bone fracture continues to mend under the exercise, as we hope, Saul can carry on and recover without the need for an operation to pin the bone.”
Halpin is one of several young players who have come through the youth ranks at Plainmoor over the past couple of years, but he did it through the club’s link with the Soccer Course run at Paignton Community College, rather than from United’s Academy.
United are looking forward to Saturday’s next npower League Two match away to Rotherham United, but they will not now bump into Millers manager Steve Evans at the New York Stadium.
Evans has become an old adversary of the Gulls, after his previous spells with Boston United and Crawley Town, but he has just been handed a six-match stadium ban and a £3,000 fine by the Football Association.
The punishment is for his ‘abusive and insulting words and behaviour with a reference to gender’, allegedly to a female steward, after Crawley’s League Two match at Bradford City last March.
The game ended in a now-infamous on-pitch brawl which resulted in several players from both sides being suspended and fined.
Evans’ assistant, Paul Raynor, is expected to take charge in his absence for matches against Torquay, Rochdale and Oxford United at home plus Barnet, Accrington Stanley and York City away.