A painful waiting game for Mulvaney

Defender hopes to return to action in March

FOR an injured footballer, time never fails to tick away that little bit slower than it does for everyone else.

And that is very much the case for Crows defender Nick Mulvaney, who is halfway through a projected six-month lay-off from the game due to a curious knee injury suffered at home to Oxhey Jets the end of September. It was only a tweak at first, though, and one which the 26-year-old shrugged off and played on.

The next game against Stotfold passed without reaction and it wasn’t until the trip to Langford three days later when the Irish defender felt the telling twinge upon landing from a header and was forced to bow out after 65 minutes at Forde Park.

Mulvaney was advised by his manager Paul Attfield to see a specialist who informed him that damaged cartilage was the likely concern. It is now expected he will have keyhole surgery to correct the problem but that appointment will not come until January 20 – a wait Mulvaney admits is highly frustrating.

“Hopefully I will be back by March,” he said.

“I go to see the orthopaedic surgeon in January and he thinks it’s just the cartilage and there should be about four to six weeks of rehab.

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“I’m still going to the gym but just to use the cross-trainer really as I can’t do anything that involves sharp movement.”

It’s a side of football Mulvaney has never experienced before having managed to escape serious injury during his time playing the game. And it couldn’t have come at a worse time for him having established himself at the heart of the Royston defence while the team enjoyed a good start to the season.

And on a more serious level, the injury has affected his ability to carry out his day job as a sports coach.

But, never one to sit twiddling his thumbs, the centre-half is putting his livelihood skills to good use and has found alternative ways to contribute to his team.

He added: “This is the first occasion that I’ve ever really been properly injured and I’ve never had any broken bones or anything like that.

“I’ve had to cut down on work which has affected my earnings but I try to keep going as much as I can.

“It’s annoying because this was my first proper season playing football having been over in America for the last couple of years but Paul is keeping me involved with a bit of coaching in training and matches and I help out with warm-ups and things when Dunc (Duncan Easley) can’t make it.”

Mulvaney arrived at Garden Walk back in February but until the start of this campaign, had found a regular starting place hard to come by.

There is no doubt, though, that he is seen as one of the more senior players in Attfield’s relatively young squad and the experience he brings at centre-half has been missed during his absence.

He hopes his rehabilitation goes quickly enough to allow him to get back to action before the season comes to an end.