'An absolute disgrace.' Former Hearts player suffers a horror injury with surgery required on broken bones

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Northern Irish defender Bobby Burns is in hospital after the sickening collision

Former Hearts defender Bobby Burns needed surgery in hospital after breaking his jaw in two places during Glentoran's match at Crusaders on Saturday. The 24-year-old Northern Irishman collided with advertising boards in the second half and lay motionless for 20 minutes before being stretchered into an ambulance and taken to hospital.

He underwent an operation to repair his jaw and also suffered concussion as a result of the incident in the Northern Irish Premier League fixture. Burns is now recovering at the Ulster Hospital but will be out of action for some time.

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Posting on social media, he addressed fears that he may have sustained damage to his neck and back, and stressed he is already looking forward to returning to action with Glentoran.

"Thanks for all the kind messages over the weekend," said Burns, who played for Hearts between 2018 and 2020. "I am very grateful that I have not suffered any major damage to my neck and back. However, unfortunately, in addition to the concussion, I have suffered a broken jaw in two places.

"I underwent successful surgery today at the Ulster Hopsital and I am already looking forward to getting back on the pitch again in the coming months. Huge thanks to all the exeptional hosptial staff and to Roisin and the medical staff at the game."

The Glentoran goalkeeper Aaron McCarey spoke out to criticise match officials for not stopping the game whilst Burns was treated pitchside. "It was a disgrace, an absolute disgrace that the game wasn’t stopped when Bobby got injured," McCarey told the Belfast Telegraph.

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"A suspected broken neck, a suspected broken jaw at the side of the pitch, if a player clatters into him there he’s in serious danger. Welfare of players is paramount. Seaview is a tight ground so without a shadow of doubt the game should have been stopped.

"Safety should come first. Stop the game, let the ambulance get on, even if you have to get the ambulance on the pitch. Bobby was lying there for 20 minutes, it’s not good enough.

"It’s paramount that regulations come in from the top, whether it’s the IFA or NIFL, that an ambulance has to be on site because it’s too risky. Bobby needed immediate treatment."

McCarey also revealed that he went to visit Burns after the match. "I went to see him after the game," he explained, speaking before the operation took place. "He was in a bad way with a neck brace on but hopefully it’s just precautionary and it’s not as bad as at first feared.

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"Our thoughts are with Bobby. He’s a vital member of our team and he’s the heartbeat of our dressing room. He never shuts up and he’s brilliant around the place. We wish him well and we hope he makes a speedy recovery."

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