11:30AM, Thursday 28 January 2021
Maidenhead United midfielder Shaun Donnellan has been forced to cut short a promising first season for the Magpies, after a scan and consultation on his injured hamstring revealed the problem was more serious than first thought.
The industrious midfielder has been carrying the injury for some time and has been in pain from it for ‘as long as he can remember’, however, after talking with a consultant last month he has decided to go under the knife sooner rather than later. It was possible for him to play on through the pain, however, he and the club felt it was right for him to get the operation done now, with the player hopeful of being back to his best, or even better than before, when he returns next season.
There is still an outside chance the 24-year-old could return this season, but the prognosis for recovery with this type of injury is between three and six months. Donnellan is keen not to rush back and, having been limited by the injury for some time, he is excited by the prospect of being back in peak physical shape and fulfilling his potential.
“I’ve had this injury for a very long time” he said. “I just didn’t know the severity of it.
“I’ve been playing with the hamstring injury since the start of the season. I’ve been playing through a lot of pain, but I’ve had this injury for as long as I can remember.
“I went to see a specialist and had a scan done and he told me the tendon is away from the bone and that I’d need surgery if I wanted to get to the level I was previously at. It was a no brainer really. I’d played as many games as I could, but it got to the stage where if I wanted to be fit for next season, I needed to have the surgery done. The club has been great, fully supportive. It’s not nice missing football games.”
Donnellan was told last month he risked aggravating the injury if he played on, and his speed and running has been impacted by the injury this season. Despite this he’s been a consistent performer for the Magpies on the field this season and will continue to support the boys while he recuperates, confident they can continue their push for a top half finish.
“I’ve been in pain with this for as long as I can remember,” he said. “There’s also a disfunction in my running so I’ve never been able to fully sprint. Hopefully, with this surgery I can improve my speed and power and it will also improvement my function and movement.
“I was told I’d done well to carry on playing. For most people this sort of injury is career ending, but I’ve been able to play on with it. I just didn’t know how serious it was.
“Depending on how I react to the surgery, it will be between three and six months out. I’m hoping to get back in the three-month period, but I’ve had this injury for so long, I just want to make sure I get it right.
“Imagine how good I’ll feel and be when I can run properly again. I’ve got a two-season contract and in my mind, I’ll be better than I was before. I’m really happy here and we decided to have the surgery now so that I can be back for next season. It will be nice to have my leg back to normal.”
He’ll be a miss for manager Alan Devonshire, but the United boss has depth in his squad this term and accepted Donnellan needed to get the injury sorted quicker rather than later.
“He’s done ever so well for us,” said Devonshire. “But the quicker he gets this done, the quicker he recovers. It will be touch and go if he can play for us again this season, but Shauny’s done well in the game’s he’s played for us and he needs to have this done. Hopefully, he’ll be even better next season, that’s the plan, but that will be down to the boy.”