Duo set to return as AFC Sudbury injury crisis eases

BACK BEFORE LONG: Ryan Henshaw, who could be back in action quicker than expected from his ankle injury
BACK BEFORE LONG: Ryan Henshaw, who could be back in action quicker than expected from his ankle injury

AFC Sudbury have received a double injury boost and could welcome back captain Sam Clarke and defender Ryan Henshaw to their next squad.

The Yellows’ Ryman League Division One North campaign has been severely hampered by injury problems, but skipper Clarke is set to end a five-month absence with a broken arm, while Henshaw’s ankle injury is not as bad as first feared.

Clarke is keen to have a run-out with the reserves before making his first-team return, while Henshaw may not even miss a game with Saturday’s tip to Romford (3pm) already in doubt because of the recent inclement weather.

“It will definitely be less than six weeks,” said Henshaw, who it was initially feared could miss at least two months of action. “When I first did it we thought it was a different ligament but once it swelled up fully two days later we were able to see it was actually another one.”

The former Cornard Dynamos player, who is also a personal trainer, is currently having to wear a pressure strapping on the ankle, but is getting physio at the gym where he works, as well as from AFC’s Tony Brightwell.

Henshaw flourished in the weeks leading up to his injury in a new role as a centre-back and believes that is where he should stay.

“I love it as I can see more of the game and I think it suits me,” he said, having previously been seen as a midfielder in his first spell at King’s Marsh under Nicky Smith. “I am quite happy to take a step back to let players like Shinny and Pondy dictate the play.”

He added: “I am loving playing with Tom (Cutts). He is very quick and can get around to cover well.”

With 19-year-old goalkeeper Alex Archer behind a back four all in their early 20s, Henshaw doesn’t subscribe to the belief they are too young.

“My opinion is it does not really matter,” he said. “If we all play well, age does not come into it.”

Meanwhile, captain Clarke, who has made just three 
appearances this campaign, was overjoyed to get the all clear from the hospital on Monday.

“Because I’ve been able to run, I’ve been doing a lot of work, so it shouldn’t be too long until I’m back playing,” said Clarke could play in a reserve fixture as early as this weekend, should it beat the weather.

“I’m delighted to get the all clear. It’s a huge relief.”