BY IAIN COLLIN – @CCP_sport
Falkirk have been dealt a hammer blow with the news that Peter Grant will miss the rest of the season with a cruciate knee ligament injury.
The 21-year-old suffered the damage in the 1-1 draw with Livingston last month but, after sitting out the subsequent midweek Scottish Cup tie with Dundee, actually played the full 90 minutes of the 1-0 defeat to Rangers at Ibrox on January 30.
However, with his knee then swelling up again worryingly, the Falkirk medical staff sent the youngster – the son of former Celtic favourite Peter Grant – for a hospital check-up.
After tests revealed ACL damage, the ex-Peterborough United player was scheduled to undergo surgery yesterday.
And Bairns boss Peer Houston has confessed the best they can hope for is that the stopper returns to fitness in time for the kick-off to next term.
Houston said: “The big news from the club this week is that big Peter Grant is out for the rest of the season as he’s done his cruciate ligament.
“He actually did it against Livingston, with nobody near him, and he came off with swelling.
“He missed the Dundee game on the Tuesday night but the swelling went right down and he felt good and trained on the Friday.
“Then he played at Ibrox – and he’s played at Ibrox with his cruciate gone!
“That’s Peter Grant for you. He’s a big, strong boy.
“But the next day his knee had swelled up again and we got it scanned, and he’s away for an operation.”
Grant was unknown to Houston when he took over as Falkirk manager in 2014 but the dependable centre-half has become a fixture in the Bairns side in the last two seasons.
Houston added: “I know for a fact, with his attitude and application, that if there’s one person can work really hard it’s Peter.
“We’ve got to start thinking about getting him back for the start of next season. That’s the target now, but it could be a bit longer, I don’t know.
“Peter’s a big blow for us because he’s been outstanding for us.”
Falkirk have suffered another setback after it emerged that back-up goalkeeper Graham Bowman, who had been farmed out on loan to Stenhousemuir, could be sidelined for the rest of the year after snapping his Achilles tendon.
Meanwhile, midfielder Will Vaulks has sustained a broken hand, but has been cleared to face Raith Rovers this weekend.
Houston added: “Will had an accident at home and has broken a bone in his hand but will be able to play on Saturday, without a cast.
“The only problem he’ll have is doing his back-flips if he scores a goal. I’ve told him he’ll have to do it one-handed!”