Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton has described the long-term injury sustained by Jordan Rossiter as a ‘sickener.’
Rossiter is expected to miss the rest of the season with a knee injury picked up against Tranmere Rovers last Saturday.
Barton expects the 22-year-old Rangers loanee to be back, in part due to the midfielder’s mindset.
He said: “It’s going to be tough for Jordy, I think he’s going to be out for probably the remainder of the season.
“We hope to see if we can get him back towards the back end but it looks like he could be missing for a prolonged period.
“It looks like it’s an issue with his knee; it looks like it’s an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury.
“He had the initial challenge, was assessed and went back on; it’s one of those things in football, it was an impact injury and was overstretched.
“He’s been unlucky with injury, Jord, over his career.
“He’s just got himself, in the last two years, settled, moving correctly in his body.
“It’s an absolutely sickener for him personally, for our team and for us as a group.
“But he’s in a great place, mentally, because he’s a solid kid.
“He’s got a lot of people around him now who care about him deeply and will get him back to where he belongs, which is playing good football as he has been for us.”
Town’s head coach is going to stand by his player and wants him to stay at Poolfoot Farm while he recovers.
Rossiter is out of contract at Rangers in the summer and Barton wants to see the midfielder in a Town shirt again.
“The disappointing thing for him is that he’s out of contract at Rangers at the end of the season so there’s a human response to that,” he explained.
“He hasn’t got a job after the summer. People forget that sometimes about footballers, you put your body on the line every week.
“It’s an injury where you’ve got to respect it, you’ve got to do all the hard work and you couldn’t meet a better professional than Jordan Rossiter.
“We want him to stay with us, he’s been a fantastic addition and hopefully we get to see him play more for Fleetwood Town in the future.
“If you stop the season now and ask the fans for a player of the year, you would have to put Jordy in that space.
“It’s a real blow to us but it’s someone else’s opportunity; we can’t be reliant on one player, as much as an influential player as he has been for us.
“It’s a squad effort. As we say to the boys all the time, if we are going to get anywhere and be successful, it is going to be as a group.”