For Rufus The Season Is Over

Rufus Brevett will not play again this season after what physio John Green calls a "major setback" - though potentially more serious implications for him in later life have been identified and avoided.

Rufus has encountered a particularly unusual problem when all the original tests, not to mention how he himself felt, indicated his road to recovery would be a smooth one.

But a decision was made for him to have another operation which will rule him out for the rest of the campaign - and, more importantly, ensure that he does not encounter problems later on, as could have been the case if no action was taken.

Rufus had an operation on Tuesday at the St. Johns and St. Elizabeth hospital in Swiss Cottage, and, explaining the situation, John Green says:

"The routine X-rays indicated that everything was okay and he was going along great, but a C.T. scan showed it hadn't healed on the scar tissue.

"Since he has been out of plaster it has not healed perfectly although initial X-rays looked reasonable for the time of healing.

"Four weeks later we did another X-ray which didn't look as if it had improved so we did the scan, showing only limited bone healing and the fibrous tissue holding the bone together, while strong, could have sustained damage - and possibly affected the circulation in the bone.

"It is the navicular bone, and it is a difficult situation because this cube of bone in the foot could crumble like a decayed tooth - and, in later life, affect his ability to walk.

"The specialist advised us that if the bone didn't heal properly with bone rather than scar tissue it could have fractured at any time, and it could've happened during his playing career, or it could have left him with a hole in the middle of his foot which would have led to problems in later life.

"We then saw a foot specialist, Mark Davies, who told us that the fracture had been caused by a stress response over a period of time which is why it hadn't healed quickly.

"In 80% of cases his foot would have healed naturally, which is preferable because a fixation of the bone is not without risk, but some bones are vulnerable and we couldn't take the risk that in 18 months we found that the bone was starting to die.

"It has not worked through natural means so we were left with no choice; Rufus saw a specialist foot surgeon and we have taken this course of action on advice - in effect we are looking after his well being for years to come, this was major surgery and we have done the right thing by him in the long term.

"He has had a bone graft from the hip and unfortunately, although it is 13 weeks after it broke, he will now have to have another eight weeks in plaster and eight weeks in rehab; he has a screw in the fracture, which helps it fixate, and bond better, and he is out for the rest of the season.

"Rufus was oblivious to it and it didn't heal normally; he had been running, jumping, hopping, and skipping without symptoms as part of his work and this is a massive setback - but Rufus' long term situation is of paramount importance."

Rufus was originally injured in the home game against Sheffield United on August 16th.