Baldwin on crutches

AS yet there is no light at the end of the tunnel for a frustrated Pat Baldwin.

AS yet there is no light at the end of the tunnel for a frustrated Pat Baldwin.

Crocked Colchester United defender Baldwin was hoping to be back in action within four to six weeks, after fracturing his big toe during the U’s 2-2 home draw against Yeovil on October 8.

But instead of pushing for a return to the squad, for this month’s up-coming matches at Crewe (FA Cup) and against MK Dons and Carlisle (both League One), Baldwin is not much nearer a return.

In fact, the ex-Chelsea trainee has been on crutches for the last few days, in a bid to hasten the recovery – a protective boot, which he had initially worn, was merely compounding the issue.

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“The toe is still painful. It’s not excruciating, but it’s still very painful to touch around the toe area,” revealed Baldwin last night.

“It’s still painful for me to walk on it, which is so frustrating. We had hoped that it would just settle down with time, but that has not been the case and I am now on crutches.

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“I need to keep my weight off the fracture. The protective boot, that I had been wearing, was making the toe flare up a little.

“Perhaps it was too tight? It certainly irritated the toe, so it’s better to be on the crutches.

“I’ve been using them for a few days, and I don’t really know how long it will be before I am back.

“However, I’ve got to keep my head down, stay patient, and make sure that I don’t lose heart. I’ll definitely be back,” added Baldwin, who celebrates his 29th birthday on Saturday.

Londoner Baldwin, who joined the U’s from Chelsea during the summer of 2002, has rattled up 209 league appearances during the reigns of Phil Parkinson, Geraint Williams, Paul Lambert, Aidy Boothroyd and John Ward.

But his 209th league outing, against Yeovil, saw him fracture his toe, an injury he only discovered the extent of following post- match scans.

Baldwin continued: “I got caught in a tackle after only five minutes of that game. I felt something go in my toe, but I decided to play on.

“I had an injection at half-time, to see me through the game, and it was only later that I learnt it had been fractured.

“I suppose I might have made it worse by playing on.

“I can’t rush back, but it’s annoying because it’s not like a usual muscle pull, which you can work on.

“I felt that I was getting back to the top of my form. I had just got back in the team, and we had kept a couple of clean-sheets (1-0 wins over Walsall and at Chesterfield).

“But just like last season, I’ve got injured at the wrong time. You have to expect that sort of thing as a footballer.

“My contract is up at the end of this season, so I’m eager to get back quickly.”

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