Corinthian Casuals midfielder Kane Sergeant has broken his silence on the tackle that left him wheelchair-bound amid fears over his football future.
The 25-year-old suffered a double fracture to his leg and a broken arm following a challenge from Walton & Hersham defender Ryan Adams during Saturday’s Ryman Division One South clash between their two teams at Stompond Lane.
Sergeant underwent five hours of surgery to insert a rod in his right leg and a wire in his right arm after the 50-50 tackle that left him prone on the pitch for more than half an hour as medics treated him.
He has been told it will be three months before he can walk again and at least six until he can start running.
His broken arm means he cannot use crutches.
Casuals boss Kim Harris called it the worst incident he had seen in 35 years of football, but defended Adams – who was sent-off for the tackle – saying there was no malice in the challenge.
And Sergeant, who has received a text message from Adams to wish him well, echoed his manager’s thoughts.
“It seems to be all right,” he said as he was discharged from hospital this week.
“I think I was a bit too quick for him at the time. I was thinking ahead of him.
“As I have moved the ball along having got to it first, he just caught me.
“I don’t think there was anything malicious, just that he did not read it.”
The sickening incident happened in the 55th minute of the match, which the Swans were leading 1-0 at the time, and led to the game being abandoned and scheduled to be replayed tomorrow.
And Harris, who has seen four seperate players require hospital surgery already this season, had no complaints.
He said: “The referee told me it was two-footed. It was reckless.
“But I don’t want to say anything that makes the lad feel worse than he does.
“There was no way the tackle was meant to be malicious.
“Both of them were going for the ball.
“He came into the dressing room after the match and he was in bits.
“You know the players after a while and he is not one of those players.
“It was the perfectly right decision to abandon the game.”
Walton & Hersham boss Chuck Martini added: “There is always a risk of injury in football. He is a good player and we wish him well.”