Baldwin injury not as bad as feared

STALWART defender Pat Baldwin was the pick of Colchester United's below-par team, before he hobbled off with an ankle injury early in the second-half against Brighton.

Carl Marston

By Carl Marston

STALWART defender Pat Baldwin was the pick of Colchester United's below-par team, before he hobbled off with an ankle injury early in the second-half against Brighton.

Ironically, Baldwin hardly had time to take his seat before the Seagulls scored the winner in Easter Monday's depressing 1-0 defeat.


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Baldwin was injured while executing a marvelous goal-line challenge on Gary Hart, who had looked certain to score for the visitors. The ex-Chelsea trainee could not continue, and within two minutes of his departure, Lloyd Owusu had nodded home Brighton's winner from a free-kick.

Fortunately, though, Baldwin's injury is not long-term. In fact, the 26-year-old is confident of being fit to play at bottom club Hereford United this Saturday.

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"Their lad (Hart) clattered into me while I was getting the ball off the line. He caught my ankle, which twisted, and I've also got some nice stud marks to show off!" revealed Baldwin.

"However, it's nothing too serious. It's just that I couldn't move it much at the time, so I had to come off.

"It's settled down a little since then, although there is some nasty bruising. I am planning to be back in training for Thursday, and so should be available for selection at Hereford," added Baldwin.

The U's have dropped to 14th in the League One table, following back-to-back defeats at Leyton Orient (2-1) on Saturday and then by third-from-bottom Brighton on Monday.

There are now just three matches remaining, so the chief target for the U's would seem to be a top-half-of-the-table finish.

Baldwin admitted: "It's frustrating with the way the season has been fizzling out, but I guess the lads are a little disappointed that we didn't make the play-offs.

"When the gaffer (Lambert) first arrived, we just wanted to get ourselves safe and the club stable. But we ended up going on a really good run, so it's not a bad thing that we should now feel disappointed.

"We'll be doing our best to still have a strong end to the season."

Baldwin, who has only missed one game since Lambert first took charge in mid-October, also revealed that he had been carrying an injury for the last few months.

He confirmed: "I suffered a hairline fracture at the head of the fibula, but because it is a non-bearing bone, it was felt that I could carry on playing. That was quite a while ago, at the Southend away game (November 1).

"I suppose I still have a slight fracture there, but it's not been a problem."

The U's travel to Edgar Street this weekend, before entertaining promotion-chasing Peterborough United the following Saturday. They end their season at Yeovil on May 2.

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