Southend United boss hits out at Stevenage’s handling of striker’s injury

Southend United boss Phil Brown. Picture: Phil Brown

Southend United boss Phil Brown. Picture: Phil Brown - Credit: Archant

Boro decline to comment on criticism from Phil Brown following Lee Barnard’s return to Roots Hall

Southend United manager Phil Brown has blasted Stevenage’s handling of Lee Barnard’s ankle injury, writes Damion Roberts.

The striker had been on loan at Boro since the end of October but returned to his parent club last week after picking up the injury against Exeter City on December 20.

Brown says he was initially told that the forward would be back in time for Stevenage’s Boxing Day clash with Dagenham and Redbridge but Barnard now faces six weeks on the sidelines.

Speaking to the Southend Echo, Brown, whose Shrimpers side visit the Lamex on February 21, said: “We’re very disappointed with the situation all round.

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“Barney didn’t have a scan, he didn’t get to see a doctor and was just treated by the physio [at Stevenage].

“When I spoke to their manager, Graham Westley, about it, he was hopeful Barney would be fit for their game on Boxing Day.

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“But Barney sent a picture of the injury to our physio who said there was just no way he would be fit in such a short space of time, unless he had an injection.

“We didn’t want that, so we’ve called him back and it turns out he’s going to be out for a minimum of six weeks which is very frustrating for both him and ourselves.”

Barnard signed an initial one-month deal with Boro, but extended his stay last month.

He netted in his first game for the club, the 2-2 draw at Tranmere Rovers on November 1, and scored twice more in the 5-1 victory over Cheltenham on November 15, but has not scored in any of his subsequent five matches.

The Comet contact Boro, but the club said it did not want to comment.

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