Chelsea’s 3-2 reserve friendly victory over Charlton at Cobham was marred by a serious knee injury to centre-back Carl Magnay, and the nature and severity of the problem raises immediate concerns as the long-term future of the Northern Ireland Under-21 international and Football Icon 2 winner.

Reserve team boss Steve Holland elaborates on the problem, and it’s a big one:

‘Carl’s injury is a bit of a disaster I’m afraid. We are still awaiting results of the scans but the early assessment is that he has damaged his anterior cruciate ligament, and that there is damage to the medial collateral ligament, and an issue with a cracked kneecap also, so that’s a really nasty injury.’

Essentially, his knee has completely collapsed and will require an extensive reconstrucion and recuperation, before even contemplating rehabilitation. A ‘simple’ ACL injury is usually rehabbed in 6-9 months, with some taking a little longer and the player often requiring 6-8 weeks to return to full match sharpness. Damaging the MCL will mean further problems, whilst the kneecap being broken presents all sorts of problems, as it’s an injury which will require a cast for six weeks. With ligament damage as well, it’s a whole world of problems for the medical team, not to mention poor Carl.

A conservative estimate would see him out for no less than a year, with eighteen months more likely. It’s another setback for a player who has suffered his fair share of problems, including knee and back trouble, and has seen his progress stunted by problems for the last year and a half. His contract was due to expire at the end of this season with no news apparently forthcoming as to the potential of an extension, and whilst Chelsea have shown in the past that they will remain loyal to injury victims who are approaching the end of a deal (Sam Hutchinson, Ricardo Fernandes and others), it also creates a conundrum of whether Carl will be the same player, or even able to return from this catastrophic turn of events.

Whatever happens, the best wishes of all at CFCnet are with Carl for a quick recovery free from setbacks, and hope to see him back in a Chelsea shirt as soon as possible.