Wotton admits rib injury is worse than any that went before it
Paul Wotton has described breaking his ribs in Plymouth Argyle’s season-opening game at Southend United as the most painful injury of his long career.
Wotton, 36 next Saturday, admitted a fractured eye socket, torn cruciate knee ligaments and a broken ankle did not come close to it.
The experienced centre-back is set to be sidelined for between four to six weeks.
Wotton was hurt in a collision with goalkeeper Luke McCormick towards the end of the first half of the 1-0 defeat away to Southend last Saturday.
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He said: “It was just a diagonal ball in to [Southend striker] Barry Corr, which we had been made aware of before the game.
“I heard Luke calling, ‘keeper’s’ and I thought, ‘I can’t get out of the way here’. That’s it. The next thing I knew it was all over.
“Luke just informed me yesterday it was offside as well! I didn’t know that at the time.
“It was the worst pain I have had in football by a million miles.
“I have fractured my eye socket, done my cruciate and broken an ankle. It was a tough one.”
Despite the pain, Wotton played for the final few minutes of the first half at Roots Hall, with Southend already a goal to the good.
He said: “Things weren’t going great on the pitch so you want to get back out there.
“No one likes coming off injured. You try to give yourself every chance of staying on.”
Wotton was replaced for the start of the second half by
19-year-old Jamie Richards, and his injury led to manager John Sheridan signing former Chesterfield centre-back Neal Trotman on a short-term contract two days later.
“There was no chance of me playing in the second half – zero,” said Wotton, who made his 477th appearance for Argyle against Southend.
“Once I sat down I couldn’t get back up off the bench.”
Wotton was taken to a nearby hospital and X-rays confirmed he had suffered broken ribs.
He said: “There’s nothing you can do for it. It’s not like you can put your chest in a cast or anything. You have just got to let nature take its course.
“I have bruised my ribs a couple of times but never broken them.”
Wotton will work closely with Argyle’s performance manager John Harbin during his recovery period.
“The bone needs to knit together, which I think takes three to four weeks,” said Wotton.
“I’m sure I will be working really hard in the gym with John Harbin.
“If he has been working with rugby league players, he’s not going to worry about my twig ribs on a bike.
“I don’t think there is going to be much sympathy there!”
Wotton’s rib injury has not only ruled him out of action for at least a month but it is also impacting his day-to-day life.
He said: “Sleeping has been a grind and sneezing is horrendous. You can’t pick things up.
“The painkillers are pretty good, though, and they soon kick in.”
Wotton had been feeling in good shape after a gruelling pre-season but will now have to start from scratch again.
He said: “That’s the biggest thing. You always want to get through pre-season injury-free and I did.
“I felt fit and strong, and ready to go. It is frustrating and disappointing, and all those sorts of words, but it’s done. It is what it is.”