Belfast Telegraph

Hegarty injury a major blow but Swifts can cope, insists Lindsay

 

Not fit: Christopher Hegarty
Not fit: Christopher Hegarty
Adrian Rutherford

By Adrian Rutherford

Dungannon Swifts have suffered an injury blow after Christopher Hegarty was ruled out for several weeks with a hamstring issue.

The defender suffered the injury during the Irish Cup win at Glenavon last Monday night.

Hegarty could miss the next three to four weeks, according to manager Kris Lindsay.

It is a blow for the Co Tyrone side, who have been in terrific form since the turn of the year.

Lindsay said: "Chris will be out for a number of weeks with a hamstring injury.

"At the minute we're talking three to four weeks, but we'll take care of him and we won't rush him back.

"I think it's important that we don't rush him back. It will take as long as it takes, and we'll go from there."

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Hegarty (26), who previously played for Rangers and Linfield, has been a key player since joining Dungannon in 2016.

He has made 30 first-team appearances this season, but went off injured in the sixth-round Cup win at Mourneview Park.

If Lindsay's prognosis proves correct, it could rule Hegarty out until mid-March.

That would include the Swifts' Cup quarter-final against Ballinamallard and league games against Institute, Newry and Glenavon.

Lindsay admits it is a setback to lose Hegarty, but believes he has the options to cope.

"It's a big blow. I've never hidden the fact that Chris Hegarty, in my opinion, is one of the top two centre-halves in the league," said Lindsay.

"It would be a blow for any team. But we have defenders here capable of stepping up - David Armstrong has been excellent since the turn of the year, and we have Jake Dykes and James Ferrin there who are more than capable.

"Yes, it's a blow but we'll be able to cope with the players we have."

Dungannon are seventh in the table and pushing for a play-off for Europa League qualification. They face Institute at The Brandywell this weekend.

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