Dunfermline Press

Winger set for third op


ATHLETIC star Kane Ritchie-Hosler is set to undergo a THIRD operation this season after he suffered a dislocated shoulder last midweek.

Manager James McPake revealed to Press Sport that the 21-year-old will need surgery on his latest injury, which happened in the early stages of the second half during the win over Arbroath last Tuesday.

Play was delayed for seven minutes to allow former Manchester City youth Ritchie-Hosler to be attended to, and stretchere­d off from the field, in what was just his second start from five appearance­s of a luckless and injury-hit campaign.

The popular winger, who arrived at KDM Group East End Park permanentl­y in the summer from Rangers after a successful loan spell, suffered an ankle injury that required an operation during pre-season, before picking up a knee problem in training following his first competitiv­e game of the season, at Inverness in September, that also needed surgery.

Providing an injury update, McPake said: “Kane’s going to get surgery on his shoulder, so we’re getting that arranged, but everyone else is just working away as they were.

“You’re going to face it over the course of a season, injuries and suspension­s, and I think where we’ve been unfortunat­e is that a lot of the injuries have been long-term.

“When they’re happening, it hasn’t seemed to have just been a dead leg or an injury that they’re just working to get over a knock or whatever. They have all been quite serious injuries, certainly for Kane anyway, and even the other ones Matty (Todd) has had a serious one, Kane’s now had three, Bene’s (Kyle Benedictus) is obviously serious again, Rhys Breen is a serious mus-* cle injury, and Sam Fisher’s we’re still assessing.

“The squad has been tested in terms of that but, I’ve said it from the end of the transfer window, that I believe the squad is pretty strong, and we have just been really unfortunat­e with the nature of the injury rather than the numbers of them.

“Normally, you can pick up a lot of injuries in a short period of time that normally happens when you’ve had a lot of games but, for us, it’s been in a period where all the injuries we’ve got have been longterm. That makes it difficult for the squad, but the squad’s handled it pretty well.”

When asked if the injury issues this season have had a galvanisin­g effect on an already tight-knit squad, McPake replied: “I think they’ve done that with the way they train, the way they work, and because they spend their time together. I don’t think the injuries have necessaril­y galvanised or pushed them on at all.

“We know that certain players can play a number of positions. I’ll use Chris Hamilton as an example. He’s been excellent at centre back for us and he was, last year, excellent as a midfielder. Ewan Otoo’s very similar to that, Aaron Comrie’s another one.

“There’s loads in that team that can fit in different positions, but that was the way we wanted to have the squad as well, because we understand that you are going to pick up niggles or knocks throughout the season, so you don’t want to veer too much from what you want to do and how you want to play.

“I think that’s the biggest compliment that I can give the players is that, no matter what the eleven’s been, they’ve always stuck to the way we want to do it. By doing that,

I think we’ll all grow together and get better together.”

McPake added that Sam Fisher, who was substitute­d against Arbroath with an ankle injury, was in a moonboot at the end of last week, but that his injury was “not as severe as it could have been”, and that they are continuous­ly assessing it to “see how long it takes to settle”.

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