Bell frustrated by slow progress

ASHINGTON CFC striker Phil Bell said he is becoming increasingly frustrated at the rate of his progress following an operation on a leg injury last month.

Bell was initially substituted with a dead leg in the Colliers’ away game against Jarrow Roofing on the first Saturday in March.

However, the implications went much deeper as he required urgent surgery to release the pressure building up in his leg called ‘compartment syndrome’ – before experts discovered that he is haemophiliac where the bleeding does not stop.

At the time he was given an injection to stop the bleeding, called a clotting factor.

Now, almost six weeks on, and already ruled out for the remainder of the current season, the tall forward describes his recovery as being frustrating and one that he feels as if he is not making massive progress with.

Bell, 28, who is still walking with the aid of crutches, said: “I have had the stitches out and the dressing off and don’t need to go back to orthopaedics.

“I do, however, require to see the physiotherapists and the haemophiliac specialist.

“I reckon I will be off the crutches within the next fortnightor so as it’s just a case of trying to keep the weight off my leg.

“In a couple of months I should be fit enough to run but really it is a case of playing things by ear and taking on board the advice from the physiotherapists.

“I am on the road to recovery and will continue to do so providing the wounds heal – but I have got to admit to being very frustrated.

“I am due to see the physio at the RVI on Tuesday but I don’t feel as if I am making massive progress and it feels very similar to when I came out of hospital.”

Although the Ashington striker is already looking to be back on the football field for the start of next term, he has not ruled himself out of the cricket campaign, and especially as he has switched to a new club – South Northumberland – where he will team up again with his best friend Johnny Wightman

Ironically Wightman – a striker with STL Northern League first division outfit South Shields – is himself currently injured after being forced out of the game against Ashington.

“I’m hoping to be able to play cricket, which is not as much an impact sport as football,” said Bell.

“When batting you are padded up and once I’m able to build the leg back up and get change of direction in running, I should be fine.”