BY ALAN TEMPLE – Capital City Press
Dunfermline boss Allan Johnston is adamant luckless Ryan Williamson will return “bigger, stronger and better” from his horror double leg-break.
The 19-year-old was rushed to Ninewells Hospital following a heavy challenge by Forfar defender Michael Dunlop during Tuesday evening’s 3-0 win at Station Park.
It was quickly confirmed that the Scotland under-19 starlet had fractured his leg in two places.
It is the second serious injury Williamson has endured during his short career, having previously spent six months on the sidelines after dislocating his knee-cap.
While Johnston is reluctant to put a time-frame on his rehabilitation, he has now doubt Williamson has the mentality to recover from this latest hammer-blow.
“We are all gutted for Ryan, he has been fantastic for us this year,” said the Pars boss.
“He has a great attitude and is still a really young player so he has a big future ahead of him. We have just got to make sure we support him, look after him and ensure he comes back bigger, stronger and better then he was before.
“It is a double-fracture, but nowadays that will get fixed and we can work towards getting him back. He has the right mentality to come through this.
“The timeframe isn’t important at this stage. The main thing is we look after Ryan right and make sure he goes on to enjoy a good career. It doesn’t matter how long that takes.
“As a club we will rally around Ryan and we are all desperate to do well for him.”
While Johnston absolved the Loons defender of any intent, he did claim Dunlop’s challenge was “poor”.
He continued: “It’s difficult to see from the video and I don’t think it was malicious, but I do think it was ill-timed.
“Maybe Ryan was just a bit too quick for him – but it did look a poor challenge.”
Williamson’s absence leaves the Pars short in defence, particularly in the full-back positions, and they have been linked with former Scotland internationalist Steven Saunders, who is now a free agent.
Mickael Antoine-Curier also remains on trial with the League One leaders.
Asked whether the Fifers were interested in Saunders, Johnston said: “There are a few people we are looking at, to be fair. Over the next few days to a week, hopefully we will have somebody on board.”