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Riley backs Sherbs for strong return
AFC Totton boss Steve Riley is backing Nathaniel Sherborne to come back sharper and stronger from the heartbreaking injury that rules him out of the new season.
Riley was away on holiday in Spain when the galling news reached him that Sherborne had suffered a broken leg and dislocated ankle in the pre-season friendly against Basingstoke Town.
The popular former Alton Town frontrunner underwent surgery three weeks ago after being caught by a challenge from Basingstoke’s new signing Chris Paterson shortly before half-time at the Testwood Stadium.
“I didn’t see what the tackle on Sherbs was like because I was away, but these things happen in football. You get injuries, it’s just one of those things,” said Riley.
“I’m gutted about what’s happened, but Sherbs is a positive character, he’s a winner and I’m sure he’ll come back fit and strong.
“I rang him when I got back and we had a long chat and he seemed very upbeat and positive.
“He’s determined to come back fitter and stronger and I’m sure he will.”
As an ex-footballer himself, Riley has had his fair share of injuries and knows that, with a positive mental attitude, players can sometimes defy the medical prognosis.
“It depends on how you are as an individual, but I’ve come back from injuries quicker than the medics have said and I think Sherbs will too,” he said.
“He’ll do it sensibly, of course, but we’ll give him as much help as we can to get him back as quickly as possible.
“Sherbs has got mental toughness and he’s still got lots of football to play.
“He’s had loads of support already which shows how popular he is.
“I’d seen Sherbs around the football circuit but I’ve only really got to know him in the short time I’ve been at Totton and he’s a great lad.
“He’s an honest lad too and I know he’ll take the right advice, do it properly and get back to playing as soon as possible.
“It will be great once he gets past the first six weeks. That’s a big hurdle and, once he gets over that, he can take it step by step.
“I know he’ll bounce back.”