Football: Elliott faces long wait on sidelines

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The Independent Online
Robbie Elliott is facing up to spending the rest of the season on the sidelines.

The Bolton full-back is unlikely to play again before May after he broke his right leg in two places against Everton at the beginning of last month.

Elliott joined Bolton during the summer in a then club record pounds 2.5m move from his home-town club, Newcastle United, but in his fourth game he was carried off after a collision with Tony Thomas.

"I was really enjoying myself until that night," he said. "I was looking forward to having a full season, which I have not had yet, and then this happens.

"The doctors have said I won't be back until next season, although there's a slight chance I could be back before then. But I don't want to set myself targets and then be let down. That just puts pressure on yourself to get back for a certain date or game and it's pressure you just don't need."

Elliott, 23, who spent 19 days in hospital after the injury, said he has made progress. "They put me in plaster on the Monday night when I arrived," he said. "They were going to change it within a few days, but with the bones being in line, they did not want to move them.

"Eventually after two weeks they added more to my original plaster, but I found it heavy and it was difficult to get about. I then got a lighter one and I'm much more mobile now. This plaster will be on for another two months at least to give the bones the chance to knit together. They are still in line and the doctors are very happy with the way it's going at the moment."

The former England Under-21 international claimed he could cope with not always being in the starting line-up at St James' Park, but he hates watching Bolton from the stands.

"At Newcastle I got quite used to sitting on the bench for some reason," he said. "But now I'm finding it much harder to watch games. I've been keeping away from the training ground, but I do find it difficult when I go to the ground on match days. It's hard just looking on because I want to be out there."

Bolton's form has not been the best since Elliott was injured and they have not won in the League since the opening day of the season. Last season Steve Stone ruptured knee ligaments early in the campaign and when he returned to action, Nottingham Forest were playing in the First Division. Elliott, though, does not think he will suffer the same fate.

"I've no doubts about that," he said. "We've not had the best of luck with injuries and it's just a case of hanging in there until everyone gets back.

"We have a great squad here now and we just need a little bit of luck to win our first home game in the League."

Elliott admitted boredom was a problem, but he was able to do weight training, and he has been busy moving house.

"It's difficult and it's the most serious injury I've had, but I can't just mope about and I've got to get on with recovering."

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