Shamrock Rovers defender Trevor Clarke expected to return this season as ACL injury less serious than expected

Sun, Apr 15 2018

Clarke had originally been expected to miss the remainder of the season. Credit: Michael P Ryan (ETPhotos)

Shamrock Rovers are confident full-back Trevor Clarke will return to action this season after his cruciate knee ligament injury turned out to be less serious than first feared.

Clarke sustained the damage during the Hoops' 2-1 defeat to Waterford last month and initially the fear was that he would miss the rest of the League of Ireland season.

The 20-year-old underwent surgery in Dublin earlier this week and the early prognosis is that the damage wasn't as severe as anticipated.

"Trevor Clarke had his operation yesterday," Rovers manager Stephen Bradley told reporters.

"It was a success. I’m hopeful he’ll be back before the end of the season

“The surgeon was really surprised when he went in - half his ACL was still intact, which was a big bonus.

“There was no structural damage whatsoever, so it could be a quick turnaround. The rehab has to go well but considering the feedback from the surgeon we'd be hoping to have him back."

Bradley added: “He was doing squats and lunges that he shouldn't have been able to do.

“That's why we wanted a second opinion on everything. The fact he can do all that with his injury says the turnaround will be quick."

Ireland under-21 international Clarke joined Rovers from Middlesbrough in September 2015 and and quickly forced his way into then-manager Pat Fenlon's first team plans.

He made his debut as a substitute in the league game against Wexford Youths the following May and scored his first goal for the club three weeks later in a 2-0 win over Galway United.