New injury blow rocks McGrath

Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date published: 12 August 2010

PHIL McGrath's injury curse has struck once again.

The unlucky 18-year-old left winger left the field on a stretcher last night as Athletic's reserves went down to a 2-1 defeat to Leicester in the League Cup final.

McGrath has suffered suspected knee ligament damage after landing awkwardly following an aerial challenge.

It caps a terrible run of impact injuries for the young Northern Ireland prospect, who is a first-year professional.

On international duty two seasons ago, McGrath sustained damaged ankle ligaments which kept him out for three months.

Last term, he sustained medial ligament damage in a knee to keep him on the sidelines for a similar length of time before having a hernia operation.

Chris Taylor, playing as a striker, scored an equalising goal for Lee Duxbury's side in the second half at Quorn FC, but in a disappointing team display Leicester claimed the winner 20 minutes from full-time.

Jean-Francois Cristophe, a 23-year-old French midfielder who spent the last two seasons at Southend, played as a trialist.

Athletic's medical staff are also examining the options for striker Ryan Brooke.

The 19-year-old damaged his ankle in pre-season and with the scan results having arrived at the club, a decision will be made this week on what course of action to take on the injury.

Rochdale face a trip to Birmingham in the second round if the Carling Cup. The tie will be played on the week commencing August 23.