Glentoran's Curtis Allen injury scare not as bad as first feared
Glentoran forward Curtis Allen limped home from the club's US trip this morning, relieved that the ankle injury he suffered in the warm-up before Saturday night's 1-0 defeat by Detroit City is not as serious as first feared.
The 29-year-old still faces a six-week recovery period from ligament damage to his left ankle but is confident he will be fit for the start of a new season that Glentoran will approach with fresh hope on the back of a creditable effort and performance by a makeshift team in a game to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the club touring the States as the legendary Detroit Cougars back in 1967.
Allen went over on his ankle while limbering up for the game on an uneven artificial surface, nullifying the Glens' striking options and forcing manager Gary Haveron into a late reshuffle.
The young visitors were only beaten by a goal scored five minutes from the end.
Allen could only look on and left the Keyworth stadium on crutches and sadly had to use them to board the flights home last night.
He said: "The injury is at the lower end of the scale for ligament damage. I don't think I will need surgery and, at most, I will miss maybe a week of pre-season training.
"There is never a good time to get injured but at least this has happened right at the start of the close season, giving me time to make a full recovery for the new season starting.
"It happened as I was jogging in the warm-up and went over on the ankle.
"The Detroit medical people were on right away and were very good and very thorough. I thought at first the ankle was broken and feared I might have to go to hospital and not be able to fly home. But they assured me that wasn't the case and that even though I had suffered ligament damage, it wasn't worst case scenario.
"It was hard coming all this way to have to sit out the game at the last minute but I thought our lads emerged with credit in a performance that augurs well for our rebuilding process."
Glens boss Haveron declared himself proud of his team's effort on the difficult pitch in 24 degree heat.
Haveron said: "We did well in the circumstances, losing Curtis and not having played for four weeks. The performance was better than I could have hoped for and when Dwayne Nelson save a penalty late on, I thought we were heading for a draw. Unfortunately, we conceded two minutes later.
"We were playing from memory at that stage against a side fresh from 10 half-time substitutions to our four.
"We tried to play direct football, made a few half chances and might have had a penalty. It was as good a shout as the one they were awarded.
"Overall, it was a good bonding exercise that will stand our young players in good stead. They didn't let anyone down."
The Glens boss concluded: "I must say the atmosphere was unique, unlike anything I have ever experienced at home or in Europe, with Coleraine.
"Their fans kept up a wall of noise from start to finish and, overall, the treatment we received from our hosts was premier class.
"The trip exceeded all expectations, on and off the field."