Harrogate Town surprised to discover severity of Will Smith's injury

Harrogate Town were surprised to learn the severity of Will Smith’s abdominal injury, manager Simon  Weaver had revealed.
Harrogate Town centre-half Will Smith. Pictures: Matt KirkhamHarrogate Town centre-half Will Smith. Pictures: Matt Kirkham
Harrogate Town centre-half Will Smith. Pictures: Matt Kirkham

The 23-year-old centre-half had to undergo surgery last week after a scan revealed that he was suffering with a double-hernia.

Smith had reported a minor niggle prior to last Tuesday’s EFL Trophy defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, however he was not overly concerned until he started to notice “more pronounced pain”, which prompted closer investigation.

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“Everyone we send for a scan at the moment seems to come back with worse news that we were expecting,” said Weaver, who has also lost Rory McArdle and Luke Armstrong to injury for longer spells than initially predicted.

Sulphurites chief Simon Weaver.Sulphurites chief Simon Weaver.
Sulphurites chief Simon Weaver.

“Will felt a niggle, but didn’t think much of it and didn’t say anything about it until too long before that Sheffield Wednesday game.

“We didn’t really want to play him in that game, we wanted to protect him, but we were forced to bring him on because of the sending-off [of fellow centre-half Connor Hall].

“Will was okay, but later there was a more pronounced pain and luckily Rachel [Davis - club physiotherapist] was able to get him seen straight away for a scan.

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“Like I say, it was a real shock when we heard that it was a double-hernia. Obviously it’s a blow for Will and it’s a blow for the club as well.”

Hernias, which occur when an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall, do not necessarily always require immediate remedy, however Weaver insisted that Smith went under the knife at the first opportunity.

“I played with a number of players who had hernias but they could manage so they carried on until it got to the point where they had to do something about it,” he added.

“Yes, we’re a bit short at the minute with Rory being out, but it was just a case of ‘get him in straight away for the operation’.

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“If you damage a hernia further it can rupture. We’re not going to take a chance like that with one of our players. Obviously the timing isn’t great, but we wanted to get Will sorted as soon as possible and make sure no more damage is done.”

Smith Tweeted following his surgery, saying ‘frustrating picking up this injury but will be back stronger’ and Weaver believes that his player will be.

“Will sent me a message from the hospital saying ‘I’ll be back soon’ and I don’t doubt that for a second because he’s an excellent professional with a super attitude.

“This is just frustrating for Will because he really wants to kick on with his career."