Teenage forward Kane Crichlow feels the support of several first-team players has played a big role in his ongoing recovery from a broken ankle writes Kevin Affleck.
The Bermuda youth international, who signed from AFC Wimbledon in the summer, sustained the injury following an innocuous tackle by Daryl Janmaat while training with the first team towards the end of September and revealed some key players of Quique Sánchez Flores’ squad have rallied round him.
“Janmaat apologized and he actually even brought me some cologne aftershave as a gesture,” said Crichlow. “As I left the pitch, he was really upset and he didn’t want to train. It’s not a big deal and these things happen so there’s nothing against him for stuff like that.”
Danny Welbeck knows all about serious ankle injuries, having sustained one last season, and he was the first over to check on Crichlow when he went down.
“Welbeck actually came when I was in the ambulance and said as soon as he saw me go down he knew what I was going through because of previous injuries he’s had,” said the forward. “He was just comforting me and saying if I need anything let him know and he’ll visit me in the hospital if I had to stay. A lot of people were comforting me at the time and helping me get through it.”
Nathaniel Chalobah, another player who knows about the long road back from injury, went that one step further and invited Crichlow to stay at his house on Hertfordshire.
Crichlow has made good progress in his recovery from the break. He is out of the protective boot, walking freely and is on the anti-gravity treadmill at the training ground.
“It’s feeling a lot better now,” he said. “I’m not feeling any pain really where it used to hurt. There’s a bit on the inside but I guess that’s just stiffness. The specialist said it's recovering well and I’m allowed to start running on the treadmill and doing ankle mobility and I can progress on from there so it’s going really well now.”
The injury was a particular blow for Crichlow, who had been taken to Austria with the rest of the first team for pre-season and he'd just played really well in a 2-1 home win for the Under-23s against Bristol City.