Oxford United keeper Ryan Clarke upbeat following foot op

Ryan Clarke

Ryan Clarke

First published in Sport
Last updated
Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

RYAN Clarke is positive over his rehabilitation from a foot operation this summer after overcoming far more serious surgery last year.

The 32-year-old will miss the first pre-season of his career after going under the knife to correct a problem with the big toe on his right foot.

While it is difficult to be precise with a return date, the lay-off could rule the goalkeeper out for the first month of the new Sky Bet League Two season.

But despite the bad news, Clarke, who last month became a dad for the first time with the birth of his son, Ralph, is staying optimistic after coming through a tougher situation.

Last January he required operations on both shoulders, in what is believed to be a first for a professional goalkeeper.

There were real concerns over whether United’s No 1 would ever be the same again.

But following a six-month recovery Clarke did not miss a minute of first-team action last season and was named player of the season by supporters and players.

The experience means the goalkeeper is looking on the bright side.

“If I can come back strongly from double shoulder surgery, this will be a breeze,” he said.

“I want to prolong my career here and it’s better to get it done now instead of later on.

“The main thing for me is to stay positive, although it’s a big disappointment to miss pre-season for the first time.

“It was the ideal time to get it done with the late start back to the season.

“In the long-term it would have gradually got worse and worse.”

The issue, relatively common for goalkeepers, was managed for the final months of last season.

The former Bristol Rovers trainee did not feel it affected his performances, with most of the pain coming after games.

United initially felt time off in the summer would be enough to solve the injury, but fortunately booked an appointment with a specialist just in case.

Clarke said: “We thought as soon as the season finished with a couple of weeks’ rest it would have settled down.

“But it got more tender walking round the house so we put in to see the specialist as soon as the season finished to cover ourselves.

“He wasn’t happy with it and they needed to shave a bit of bone and fuse it together.”

Meanwhile, former Oxford defender Harry Worley has joined Sky Bet League Two side Stevenage following his exit from Newport.

Latest United news:

Newey: Oxford United are doing it right

Oxford Mail:

9:30am Friday 19th September 2014

TOM Newey hopes Oxford United’s supporters will embrace the side’s progressive style after seeing them make it work for the first time at the Kassam Stadium.

Joining Oxford United's 'project' offers new chapter in life of Brian

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Friday 19th September 2014

HIS varied CV may include a spell at arch rivals Swindon Town, but Brian Howard’s debut for Oxford United should have gone a long way to convince any doubters not to hold it against him.

Fazackerley: Oxford United boss has managed with testing start well

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Friday 19th September 2014

DEREK Fazackerley says he has been impressed by the way Michael Appleton has dealt with a challenging start to life as Oxford United’s head coach.

Collins thankful for Oxford United support after family emergency

Oxford Mail:

8:50am Friday 19th September 2014

MICHAEL Collins says he was moved by the support from Oxford United’s fans and staff during a difficult time earlier this month.

Boost as Oxford United striker avoids surgeon's knife

Oxford Mail:

8:40am Friday 19th September 2014

WILL Hoskins could face a shorter lay-off with a groin injury than feared after a specialist advised surgery was not needed.

Comments (1)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:07pm Mon 9 Jun 14

Oxokuba says...

Slow news day.....
Slow news day..... Oxokuba
  • Score: -2

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree