Midfielder Alan Smith hopes to make a full recovery after suffering a horrific leg break in Manchester United’s FA Cup defeat by Liverpool. Smith broke his left leg and dislocated his ankle after falling awkwardly.
Smith told The Sun.
“When I looked, the leg was lying one way and my ankle was pointing towards Hong Kong so I knew I was in serious trouble. But the doctors are very positive, I’ve had an operation and now it’s a question of starting on the road back.”
Smith collapsed in agony after he tried to block a John Arne Riise free-kick in the closing stages of the fifth-round tie. The midfielder is expected to be out for at least nine months after undergoing surgery on Sunday.
A Club statement on MUTV said:
“The leg will be in plaster for several weeks and everyone connected with the club is wishing Alan all the best for a speedy recovery.”
The severity of the injury and the shocked reaction of players from both teams drew comparisons to the career-ending injury suffered by Coventry defender David Busst at Old Trafford in 1996.
Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse, who came back from a broken leg last season, also backed Smith to recover also said to The Sun:
“After the game I went straight to the United dressing room – I wanted to see him and say that I knew how he was feeling.”
United’s players, including replacement Ji-Sung Park. were visibly shocked by Smith’s injury.
United defender Gary Neville admitted he was “stopped in his tracks” by Smith’s plight:
“Alan’s injury puts it all into perspective. We didn’t get the chance to see him immediately after the game but all our thoughts are with him. It made what was a bad day 10 times worse. Sometimes things happen that stop you in your tracks, no matter how big the game you’re playing in.”
United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said of the injury:
“It’s one of the worst I’ve seen. It’s a very long-term injury.”
The game was delayed by five minutes as Smith received treatment. United’s medical team were given help by Liverpool club doctor Mark Waller as Smith waited to be carried off on a stretcher.
Smith’s injury obviously also further depletes United’s limited resources in the holding midfield area…