Gulls boss Knill pleased to see Pearce in action following illness
Defender Krystian Pearce has emerged from the most worrying fortnight of his career in better shape than he or anyone at Torquay United could have imagined only a couple of games ago.
The former Notts County centre-half, who feared he might have a career-threatening blood condition when he was hospitalised after the Gulls’ 2-1 defeat at Newport County recently, was cleared to play at Wycombe Wanderers last Saturday.
Blood tests showed that he does not have full sickle-cell syndrome, which might have raised question-marks over whether he could carry on playing professional football, and, although his condition is still being monitored regularly, doctors last week told him that he could return to training and match action.
Pearce, 23, played and scored in United’s 3-2 defeat at Wycombe and got through the game without ill-effects.
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“We are still keeping a close eye on Krystian, but he felt OK after the Wycombe game,” said United manager Alan Knill.
“He did a full training session with us on Monday and came through that well. He was tired afterwards, but then so was everyone else – it was a hard one.”
This week sees the return of United’s three international absentees – winger Billy Bodin, loanee Anthony O’Connor and young goalkeeper Conor Thompson.
All three missed the Wycombe match because they were playing for Wales Under-21s, Eire Under-21s and Northern Ireland Under-19s respectively, and they were involved in a second round of qualifying matches last night.
There is also encouraging news on another of United’s injured players – Aussie defender Aaron Downes.
Downes, 28, underwent cartilage surgery nine days ago, when it was predicted that he wouldn’t be back for a month.
Physio Damian Davey, who helped former Gulls winger Danny Stevens back from a cartilage op in only three weeks in 2008, reported: “The early signs are good for Aaron.
“You always have to be careful not to push too hard in cases like this, but Aaron did a lot of good work before his operation, to help his recovery, and he’s trying hard to be back as quick as possible.
“Aaron is a bigger lad than Danny, but if we can get under the four weeks with him, that would be great.”
United’s next match date is a home game against Mansfield Town this Saturday.