Faubert hit by major injury blow

New signing Julien Faubert is expected to be sidelined for around six months after a scan confirmed that he has ruptured his Achilles tendon.

The 23-year-old French midfielder suffered the freak injury during Tuesday night's pre-season friendly match against Sigma Olomouc in Austria, and has now flown back to France to undergo surgery.

Head Physiotherapist George Cooper says: "The injury was completely out of the blue. Julien has no history of any Achilles problems, and this kind of rupture is usually pre-disposed by past steroid injections in the area - something he has never had - so it is a major shock.

"On the plus side, we have managed to get him to a top surgeon in Strasbourg, who has successfully operated on the likes of Zinedine Zidane and Lilian Thuram in the past, so he is in very good hands. Two to three days is the key time for this injury and everything will be done and in place for Julien within that period.

"We expect him to be out of action for around six months but we will not be putting any definitive date on his return - he will come back only when he is completely ready.

"I have to say, Julien's attitude and reaction to the injury has been first class. He was already planning his rehabilitation in the taxi on the way to the hospital, and we will be working with him every step of the way to ensure he returns to full fitness as soon as possible."

Manager Alan Curbishley adds: "It's a devastating blow for everyone, especially Julien. He had fitted in so well and was showing all the attributes needed to be a success in the Premiership.

"You could see in the short bit of football he has played with us that he was going to be a big hit with the supporters - he is strong, fast, gets up and down, and understands the game - so to lose him after an hour of football and just two weeks at the Club is a big disappointment.

"We wish Julien a speedy recovery and, having got to know the boy over the past week or so, I am certain that he will respond to this set-back in the right way. Hopefully we will see him back in action around Christmas time, but the main thing is that he follows his rehabilitation programme and only returns when he is 100% ready."