DUNDALK midfielder Keith Ward will miss the rest of the 2013 Airtricity League season after sustaining damage to the cruciate ligament in his right knee.
The 22-year-old was stretchered off in the latter stages of Dundalk’s 2-1 win over St Patrick’s Athletic on June 13 after going down in a heap with no opposition players in close attention.
Lilywhites boss Stephen Kenny said afterwards that he thought Ward had picked up a cartilage injury but a scan on Tuesday showed more damage than was first envisaged and the player, who made his 50th appearance for the club in the victory over Pat’s, is now looking at an extended spell on the sidelines.
The former Bohemians star spoke to the Dundalk Democrat on Thursday and - being the type of character that he is - he was upbeat about his recovery.
“I’m disappointed but I’m trying not to let it get to me”, he said. “I heard a crack when I was turning and when you hear that you know it’s not good.
“I went for an X-Ray and it showed nothing so I thought I was fine. Stephen rang me on Saturday and I told him I’d be back for training after the break. I think he was as shocked as me when he found out I did my cruciate.
“I’m just waiting to hear what the story is with an operation now. Paul Cheshire (Dundalk’s physio) told me that it can take two to three months for people who aren’t footballers to recover from it but to get back to the level of fitness I’d need to be at, it looks like it will be six months.”
Ward has had plenty of support from his team-mates with one in particular offering his advice on how to overcome the injury.
“Mark Rossiter has been on the phone to me. He did it twice before so I can touch base with him on what needs to be done. I don’t know too much about it but Rossi has told me it’s down to the rehab. He recovered after four months the last time he did his so we’ll see how it goes.
“As far as I know, I’ll be able to get on the bike and into the gym soon enough so I’ll be there with the squad everyday. That’s where I’m at my happiest.”