Stevenage’s hero at Hartlepool last year back on track after injury

Tom Conlon won't be rushed back from his ACL injury says Stevenage manager Darren Sarll. Picture: HA

Tom Conlon won't be rushed back from his ACL injury says Stevenage manager Darren Sarll. Picture: HARRY HUBBARD - Credit: Archant

Last year’s 2-1 victory for Stevenage at Hartlepool’s Victoria Park will always have special memories for manager Darren Sarll – as it was the scene of his first win as caretaker manager – but spare a thought for another for whom that fixture means a lot to.

Tom Conlon arrived off the bench midway through the first half and struck both goals in the success, his first for the club.

And the talented 20-year-old was all set to play a starring role in this year’s campaign until a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against Luton Town in August virtually ended the season almost as quickly as it had started.

The prognosis at the time was six to nine months and although Conlon has started to run again, the Boro boss is in no rush to bring the midfielder back into the squad.

Speaking to the Comet prior to today’s (Saturday) game, Sarll said: “Tom’s doing really well. He’s back running but he’s got to get this right. The big problem with ACLs is if players come back too early there could be a reoccurrence.

“We don’t want to see that. He’s a young man and he’s got a decade in the game ahead of him.

“There’s no real rush but it is the same as with Steven Schumacher. You can see that we did things right with the number of games he’s played since coming back into the side.

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“With Tom we need to do things right by his individual case, his body.”

Sarll also hinted his plans for the youngster have not changed.

“On another side I’d still like Tom to be with us next year,” he added. “It’s important that there’s longevity to our plans and Tom can see that there’s longevity and how much we think of him.

“I think he’s got enormous potential and at the start of the season he was one of those young players that we were going to build the side around.

“I’d like to think he would have played 20-odd games since his injury.

“We want him to have a long career with us.”