Ballymena United suffer double injury blow to David Parkhouse and Josh Kelly

By Darren Fullerton

Ballymena United have suffered an injury hammer blow with the news both David Parkhouse and Josh Kelly are facing extended spells on the sidelines.

Parkhouse, a high profile summer signing from Derry City, sustained a serious knee injury in a recent 2-1 defeat to Warrenpoint Town.

And midfielder Kelly is also facing several months out after breaking a bone in his foot in Friday night’s 4-1 defeat to Glentoran.

Ballymena boss David Jeffrey said: “Sometimes if you don’t have bad luck then you’ve no luck at all, and again we’re already facing some challenges to our luck this season.”

Parkhouse is facing a lengthy spell out after scans confirmed the talented forward fractured his knee and sustained ligament damage following a collision against Warrenpoint at Milltown on August 28.

And Kelly, who has made 74 appearances since joining the club from Ards in 2019, could be ruled out until Christmas after sustaining a foot injury against the Glens.

Jeffrey said: “Josh went over on his foot in an innocuous tackle on Friday, with an X-ray confirming our worst fears of a broken bone in his foot.

“It will be at least six to weeks before it heals and maybe three months in total before we can realistically see him back in action.

“That news comes on the back of confirmation that David Parkhouse fractured his knee and sustained ligament damage at Warrenpoint.

“It is wholly unfortunate in terms of the investment we have made in both players; David coming in as a summer signing and Josh who has very quickly established his place in midfield.

“It is difficult for both the players and club to face these setbacks so early in the season, but as we always say, injuries give opportunities to others and we step up as a group.”

Meanwhile, Jeffrey hopes versatile midfielder Andy McGrory (foot), left-back Steven McCullough (foot) and centre back Scot Whiteside (knee) are all nearing a return to action.

McCullough last featured in a 3-2 defeat to Linfield 11 months ago, while Whiteside, whose last outing was the 2020 Irish Cup final, suffered a cruciate injury last summer.

“On a more positive note, it is very pleasing to report that Steven McCullough, Andrew McGrory and Scot Whiteside are all making excellent progress,” said Jeffrey

“We hope to see them back challenging for a first team place in the not too distant future.”

Ballymena’s next game is Tuesday night’s League Cup trip to Annagh United who are third in the Lough41 Championship.


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