Busst back on road to recovery

Wednesday 16 October 1996 23:02 BST

The Coventry City defender, David Busst, has taken the first steps on the long road to recovery after suffering a horrific leg injury against Manchester United six months ago.

Busst, whose right leg was shattered 89 seconds into the match at Old Trafford, has started physiotherapy after undergoing 14 operations.

Yet Busst is sanguine about the career-threatening injury. "The specialist told me if it had happened 20 years ago I would have probably lost my leg. Quite simply, the technology would not have been around in those days to cope with the problem."

Busst has had his leg rebuilt by a plastic surgeon and is confident he will be able to play again, with April pencilled in for a return to training.

"I knew I'd broken my leg but didn't know how bad it was. Even now I can't bring myself to look at the incident on video or photographs.

"The plastic surgeon had to rebuild my leg to cover the hole where the bone had come out. They had to cut away a lot of skin which had been embedded with all the artificial stuff used on a football pitch, to avoid infection."

Busst says he has never lost the belief he will eventually play again. "I am an optimist," he said. "I don't think 'maybe it won't turn out for the best'. Football is in my blood and I just want to get back to fitness and playing again.

"But I'm told the bone will actually be stronger than before as the metal pin inserted will stay there for life and will take all the weight between the ankle and the knee."

Another player recovering from an appalling injury is the Wolves striker, Don Goodman, who has revealed that he risked death to save his career after fracturing his skull six months ago. Goodman would have had to quit the game without surgery, but has admitted that the nature of operation could have put his life at risk.

The gamble paid off for the player who scored 20 goals last season before sustaining the injury in a collision with Huddersfield Town's Steve Jenkins.

The 30-year-old Goodman has played for the reserves wearing headgear and can play without the need for protection after 27 October.

Goodman said: "I don't want to over dramatise it, but the risk of death was there if I had an operation. But the skull had to be elevated and if it wasn't operated on then I wouldn't have been able to head a ball again."

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