SPL

Stuart Kettlewell fears Motherwell’s Calum Butcher left with ‘nasty injury’

By Sports Desk May 26, 2023

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell fears Calum Butcher has been left with a “nasty” injury after falling foul of Livingston’s artificial surface.

Butcher went off with a foot injury during Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at the Tony Macaroni Arena and Motherwell are awaiting news on the extent of the damage.

Kettlewell said: “Calum went to plant his foot on the pitch. I’m not so sure that we would have had the issue if it was on that surface out there (Fir Park).

“It’s an awkward one, I don’t think there is much give in the artificial turf as we all know and he felt a pop in his foot. It was so innocuous in terms of putting your foot down.

“He has got a scan and we will find out the extent of that injury. We just hope the significance of the injury isn’t too bad.

“It’s a real frustration because he has been excellent for us, absolutely outstanding.

“We are disappointed but I would hope it’s not too long a period that he is out.

“It is a frustration when you see a centre-back going to jump for the ball and his foot sticks in the surface and he ends up with what looks like a pretty nasty injury.”

Kettlewell is also missing Dan Casey with an arm injury and Ricki Lamie following hernia surgery, but the central defensive injuries mean Shane Blaney got his first start under the manager at Livingston.

The Irishman sustained an injury in his third start under Steven Hammell and Motherwell’s form has meant he has needed to be patient.

The former Sligo Rovers defender is excited about playing a bigger part next season but wants to seal a seventh-placed finish when Motherwell host Dundee United in Sunday’s cinch Premiership finale.

Blaney said: “The injury came at a bad time for me personally. That’s football and I couldn’t get too down about it but it’s great to get back in and any time I have been called upon, it’s been brilliant.

“It was brilliant to get a start on Wednesday night.

“I feel like I get on very well with the manager and I really like working with him, he has been brilliant since he came in. His ideas and the way he wants to play football are brilliant and it’s right up my street.

“I am really looking forward to finishing off the season and in pre-season kicking on again.

“It was different coming at Christmas and a full pre-season is massive for any player, getting the build-up of games leading into the season. It is really exciting for me.

“I feel like I can definitely do very well here from everything I have seen.

“From being injured and being on the bench, I have seen the league now, which is a big thing. I have seen how it works, I have come into games, I have started games, I know I can do it here. I am really looking forward to next year.

“We want to finish strongly so we can build on that and head into this season and kick on again and keep this upward trajectory going.”

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