Fencer’s collarbone shattered playing in garden

Keith Cook will have a metal plate inserted into his broken collarbone. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
Keith Cook will have a metal plate inserted into his broken collarbone. Picture: Phil Wilkinson
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FOILED! Unlucky fencer Keith Cook may be one of the finest swordsmen of his age – but that hasn’t prevented him succumbing to a serious injury while playing in the garden with his children.

The 33-year-old broke his collarbone while having fun with Jaimie, nine, and Imogen, six.

The normally nimble-footed fencer took a tumble last Sunday and tried to mask the anguish from his children.

However, a short dash to the ERI confirmed a clean snap of his collarbone – and the prospect of having a metal plate inserted to help it heal.

The blow has already forced him to pull out of a competition in Germany. “I wish I could say it was a spectacular story but I was just playing with the kids in the garden, mucking about, and I slipped and fell funny and totally broke my collarbone,” he said.

“I could feel it straight away so I picked myself up and lay down on the bed to catch my breath and one of my friends took me to hospital.”

The champion is now working with a team of specialists to “look at the best way of going forward” and to get him recovered “as fast as possible”. He added: “The normal way of dealing with a broken collarbone is to just leave it but I cannot do that because of the way it would heal – the NHS normally lets it heal by itself – just to get you back up and running, but for me I have to make it as strong as possible so they might be putting a metal plate in.

“On the plus side I get to spend more time with the family, but it’s funny what you take for granted until something like this happens. It’s given me time to reflect on what I need to do.”

Phil Mack, founder of Edinburgh’s The Physiotherapy Clinics, said Keith’s team would have a plan in place to make sure he is fighting fit as soon as possible and that a metal plate is the best option.

“The great thing about 
Scottish sport is the amount of support athletes have from their team of specialists so they will already have a plan in place to get him straight into rehab,” he said.

“The recovery time for a normal person is six to ten weeks but that can vary dramatically with age and fitness and it’s actually relatively easy to break – I’ve been in professional sport for 15 years and I see a least five to six a year.

“It’s also very painful because the first thing it does is affect your breathing – it will take your breath away and be very uncomfortable.”

One thing that’s agreed on, though, is that Keith’s recovery is his top priority. Alex Newton, Director for British Fencing, confirmed that the athlete will be “out of international competition until the injury is fully healed”. Chris Hyde, head of Scottish Fencing, said Keith should be fit enough for the Games even though the association has not yet had a chance to assess him medically.

Incredible injuries

KEITH COOK isn’t the only sportsman to suffer a bizarre injury.

Chelsea keeper Dave Beasant missed the start of the 1993-94 season after dropping a jar of salad cream on his foot. The flying condiment severed a tendon in his big toe.

In 2009 Rangers stalwart Kirk Broadfoot was forced to miss a number of games – after being injured by a pair of poached eggs. The protein-packed dish exploded in the pan, splashing scalding water in his face.

Former England and Liverpool keeper David James injured his back reaching for a TV remote control.

And Spurs player Alan Mullery hurt his back – brushing his teeth.