After sustaining the most serious injury of his footballing career, Ashington club captain Wayne Buchanan has said that the double fracture of his right leg could not have been more ill-timed.
The freak incident came in the 25th minute of the Colliers' Ebac Northern League first division clash against Hebburn last week as the 36-year-old landed awkwardly – but off the pitch Buchanan’s wife Laura is heavily pregnant and is expecting the couple’s second child next week.
“Basically, the ball was going across my left foot and I was going to play it up the line,” he said. “My right foot has stuck in the ground and with all my weight on it, I’ve gone over. I heard the crack and went down and some people thought it was an injury to my calf - but I knew something wasn’t right. I was carried off the pitch thinking it might just be ligament damage.”
He continued: “When I arrived back home, my wife Laura, my little daughter Faith and mother-in-law Wendy took me to hospital where it was confirmed that it I had sustained a fracture near the ankle on the fibula and there was another hairline fracture as well. I had an operation on Wednesday where pins were inserted and I have exercises to do but I can’t bear any weight on it at the moment.”
Buchanan – who lifted the Players Player of the Year and Supporters Player of the Year awards at Woodhorn Lane at the end of last season - added: “Hopefully, I’ll be able to get a moon boot on next week and be able to weight bear so I can help Laura. We have a little boy on the way on the 22nd of this month and I was meant to be doing things around the house so my injury couldn’t have come at a worse time.
"It has put extra pressure on - but looking at the bigger picture, things could have been a lot worse. Laura’s mum Wendy and dad John and family have been brilliant and have helped out and pitched in - and putting things into perspective, the leg fracture is not life-threatening. It will heal and I’ll be okay.
“I want to be back playing but it will all depend on what the results are from the X-ray. The op has gone well so there shouldn’t be any reason why I shouldn’t be able to make a full recovery but my main priority at the minute is making sure I’m there for Laura and the impending birth.”
Born in Banbridge Co Down, Buchanan added: “I’m 36 years old and before Tuesday night, the only problem I had experienced was with a little finger – I had never had a serious injury. I’d like to express my sincere thanks to everyone who has texted me, including all the managers and players from all the different clubs who have wished me well because it was a nice touch. Injuries like this happen – but I’m hoping to be back.”