Hayles reveals fear over spinal injury
Thursday 17 April 2003
Fulham's fit-again forward Barry Hayles has revealed his spine injury was so serious that doctors warned he might never have walked again without surgery.
The former carpenter, 30, made his comeback from a five-month lay-off in Tuesday's 4-0 reserve-team victory against Leicester City at the Walkers Stadium.
Hayles played for the first 45 minutes and set up Luke Cornwall's opener. But the former Stevenage and Bristol Rovers front man, a firm favourite with the Fulham fans, also recalled the moment he was given a worrying assessment in November.
"My neck really tightened up after the Bury game and I knew something was quite badly wrong," he said. "When I saw the specialist, he explained the situation and told me my spine was under pressure. He said I had to have treatment to make sure I could do things like walk in future."
Hayles, who has two weeks' training behind him, is targeting the west London derby with Chelsea a week on Saturday for his return to the first team.
"I was originally aiming to be back for pre-season in late June but I'm back now," he added. "I hope to make it back for two or three first-team games before the end of the season.
"The neck will always be stiff, but just something that'll have to be treated along the way now. It won't hold me back."
Latest in Sport
Didier Drogba went absolutely mental in the Chelsea dressing room after Blues were given the Premier League trophy
Jurgen Klopp favourite to replace Brendan Rodgers at Liverpool if he's sacked
Premier League 2015/16 kits: Confirmed and rumoured strips from Arsenal, Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and others
Sam Allardyce sacked: West Ham wait just a few minutes after final game to axe manager
Arsenal transfer news: Arsene Wenger sets deadline for Theo Walcott contract talks with Liverpool keeping a close eye on his future
- 1 Woman accidentally shoots herself in the head while posing for a selfie
- 2 Art Garfunkel: Paul Simon is a 'monster' with a Napoleon complex
- 3 Isis burns woman alive for refusing to engage in 'extreme' sex act, UN says
- 4 Female Muay Thai champion hustles coaches to give them a beating
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
The day that Britain resigned as a global power
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland