Baldwin's season takes another bad turn
PAT Baldwin's frustrating season, both on a personal and a team level, took another turn for the worse at West Brom.In fact, Baldwin's season could well be over, after he dislocated his shoulder during the opening minutes of the thrilling 4-3 defeat at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
PAT Baldwin's frustrating season, both on a personal and a team level, took another turn for the worse at West Brom.
In fact, Baldwin's season could well be over, after he dislocated his shoulder during the opening minutes of the thrilling 4-3 defeat at The Hawthorns on Saturday.
The 25-year-old defender looks set to be out for a few weeks, and the campaign draws to a close in just one month.
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Baldwin was a regular in the U's defence last term, forming a dependable partnership with Wayne Brown as Geraint Williams' men finished in an impressive 10th position.
But a year on and it's all change. The U's are on the brink of relegation to League One, and could possibly be relegated after this Saturday's home match against play-off chasing Ipswich.
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Furthermore, Baldwin has hardly kicked a ball in anger during 2008. He suffered a knee injury during the first week in January, and his comeback was cut short at West Brom.
“It only lasted about four minutes. It was a straight dislocation of the shoulder, though hopefully there isn't much muscular or nerve damage,” explained Baldwin.
“I jumped up with one of the West Brom lads, to meet a free-kick. I had a hand on his shoulder, and he took my arm and shoulder with him. It popped out and it was very painful.
“That just about sums up my luck this season, and also that of the team. I had worked so hard to get back from the knee injury, which took an age to heal.
“I was out for nearly three months, which was frustrating. I might have tried to rush back once or twice too quickly, which was my fault rather than that of the physio. It was just over-eagerness on my part,” added Baldwin.
The U's have had terrible luck with injuries. Winger Mark Yeates had his season ended by a dislocated shoulder at the beginning of February, while midfielder Kevin Watson has also been ruled out for the campaign with his torn calf.
In addition, Teddy Sheringham, Danny Granville, Kevin McLeod, Aidan Davison and Luke Guttridge have all been nursing injuries for several weeks.
Centre-half Chris Coyne and skipper Karl Duguid did return to the side at West Brom, after their respective calf and knee problems, but winger Medy Elito and Clive Platt picked up injuries during the game and might be considered doubtful for the visit of Ipswich.
Baldwin continued: “Even just a basic dislocation means that I will probably be out for three or four weeks, which means that I might struggle to get back this season.
“I didn't miss many games last season. I played alongside Wayne Brown, and I was looking forward to forming a good partnership with Coyney (Chris Coyne) during the last few weeks. But that's football for you.
“The team didn't have many injuries last season, but perhaps the fact that we did so well last year has taken it out of us this year,” concluded Baldwin.
Ironically, Baldwin's brief appearance at West Brom, which lasted just under five minutes, was the 150th league outing of his career (all for Colchester). It is not a landmark he will remember with any fondness.