The 350-mile round trip to Elgin that Edinburgh City face tomorrow isn’t usually looked forward to by most Ladbrokes League Two players, but Stuart Morrison wants all the action he can get after an unexpectedly early return from injury.
The on-loan Dunfermline defender suffered a suspected broken ankle in the 1-0 defeat at Stenhousemuir back in February and was told his season was over. However, the injury turned out to be less serious than feared, and the 18-year-old returned to action in last weekend’s 4-1 home defeat against the same opposition.
Despite that, he was delighted to be back, and is keen to make up for lost game time. “It was good to be back,” said Morrison. “I thought I was going to be out for the rest of the season.
“Thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I first thought and managed to get back training in just over a month. I was surprised, but happy to be back so soon and hopefully I can get the last few games of the season under my belt now.
“On the Saturday night after the game at Stenny I went to the hospital with the club doctor. They gave me an x-ray and thought I had a slight fracture on my ankle. I went back to Dunfermline on the Monday morning though and the physio took me up to see a specialist at Queen Margaret. They assessed my ankle and couldn’t see anything wrong with it aside from torn ligaments instead of an actual break, which was good news for me.”
Having resigned himself to the worst, that news was a psychological boost as much as anything. “It was because I’ve not really had an injury like that before,” Morrison said. “As soon as it happened I knew something wasn’t right, but I’m just glad that it wasn’t a break. If it had been, you never know what problems that can cause later on in your career.
“It’s felt fine since. When I first started back training my left ankle was a bit weak but I had lots of reassurance from the physio at Dunfermline and other boys who have had the same injury before. They told me that was natural and that it would take me a couple of weeks to get back to how it felt before, and I’ve noticed that. I’ve trained for a few weeks, got 90 minutes under my belt and feel better than ever now.”
The same couldn’t be said for manager James McDonaugh after the defeat by The Warriors, and Morrison admitted there was something of an inquest after full-time.
“We were in the dressing-room for a good wee while after the game,” he explained. “We were just trying to sort out what went wrong. Even when I’d been out injured the boys had been picking up points and good results which were crucial.
“We then had two disastrous performances [going down 3-0 at Montrose the previous week] so we went back over them to try and sort out the problems. Hopefully we can put things right up in Elgin, which is a big game for us.”
The match at Borough Briggs took on extra significance after Cowdenbeath’s 3-0 midweek defeat at home to Montrose. The Blue Brazil’s surprise 1-0 win over Clyde while City were losing to Stenhousemuir cut the gap to seven points with a game in hand.
Losing it, however, means that City can confirm their League Two status for another year by matching the Fife club’s result tomorrow.
“To be honest, we hadn’t really been thinking about Cowdenbeath the last few games,” said Morrison. “Obviously after Saturday we were kind of looking over our shoulders a wee bit. We’re still not taking anything for granted. They can still mathematically catch us but it’s still in our own hands. We can go out and get a victory on Saturday and put things to bed.
“If we can cut out the errors from last Saturday, there’s no fear that we can’t go and win the game, especially after we gave them a good beating at home the last time we played.”