Savage targets comeback before season's end

January 25, 2007

Robbie Savage has spoken of his 'devastation' over the broken leg that could have ended his season.

The Blackburn midfielder underwent surgery last night to pin his right fibula, which was fractured in a challenge with Watford's Al Bangura during Rovers' 2-1 defeat on Tuesday.

It was initially feared Savage would be sidelined for six months but the operation appears to have been so successful he may return before the end of the current campaign.

'I'm devastated. I was having probably one of my best ever seasons,' Savage said in the Lancashire Evening Telegraph.

'I'd just been given the captaincy, and the team were flying, so to get injured now is a massive blow. I'm absolutely gutted.'

The 32-year-old wants people to 'make up their own minds' over the tackle that left him in agony during the second half of the Barclays Premiership defeat at Vicarage Road.

But he does not expect much sympathy from his critics.

'I've seen the tackle again on TV and it doesn't look the best in the world to me, but I'll leave people to make their own minds up about it,' he said.

'I know I've been renowned in the past for going in for 50-50s and all that, and the way I play I expect to get hurt from time to time.

'Unfortunately for me, on this occasion I have got hurt, and I know some people will say I had it coming.

'But now I've got to answer those critics by coming back even fitter and stronger.

'Every time I've been knocked down in my career in the past, I've always bounced back, and I'm determined to do that again.

'There's a lot of people in this world who are far more worse off than me, so I can't afford to start feeling sorry for myself.'

Rovers manager Mark Hughes hopes the routine nature of the surgery will mean a quick recovery.

'It was a straightforward operation - it was just a case of setting the bone and getting him on the road to recovery,' he told the club's official website.

Hughes rounded on Bangura after viewing television pictures of the challenge. He told BBC Radio Lancashire: 'It was a poor challenge - a little bit high.

'He has caught Robbie just above the ankle, who has paid the consequences. Only the lad can tell you whether it was deliberate or with intent. You will have to ask the guy who was involved.'

Savage became Rovers' second victim of a broken leg in a matter of days, with Andre Ooijer having suffered the same fate at Manchester City on Saturday.

The Welshman left the field on a stretcher following the 54th-minute incident and he knew immediately the injury was serious.

'I knew straight away I'd broken it. It was very similar to what happened to Andre at the weekend,' Savage said. 'When I went over to see Andre by the side of the pitch, he said straight away `I've broken my leg', and I was the same.

'It's a clean break so the doctors said I'll make a complete recovery, but it's still going to take three-and-a-half months to heal.'

Meanwhile, Feyenoord commercial director Chris Woerts claims his club are becoming frustrated at Blackburn's indecision over a deal for Moroccan striker Ali Boussaboun.

The 27-year-old is currently on trial at Ewood Park, with Hughes keen to take him on loan until the end of the season with a view to a permanent move in the summer.

Woerts told Voetbal International magazine: 'This is taking far too long.

'We are willing to cooperate in a loan spell or sale but then we must like the conditions, otherwise Ali stays where he is - at Feyenoord.'