Evan Ferguson in action against Liverpool at the weekend. PA

Evan Ferguson avoids knee ligament damage but bruised bone keeps Brighton on alert

Hopes now grow that the Brighton teenager will return in time to be available for Ireland’s opening Euro 2024 qualifier.

EVAN FERGUSON HAS not suffered any ligament damage in his knee with The42 learning that scans showed up bruising of the bone in the affected area.

Encouragingly, there has also been no structural damage to the 18-year-old’s knee and it now remains a possibility he will return to Premier League action in time to be available for Ireland’s opening Euro 2024 qualifier with France next month.

The Brighton striker has also managed to escape any serious issue with his Achilles or ankle following the reckless tackle from behind by Liverpool’s Fabinho during their FA Cup tie at the weekend, an incident which forced him off and saw him leave the stadium with on crutches with his right leg in a brace.

Reports at the beginning of the week indicated that the Ireland international had not suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear, which would have ruled him out for the rest of this season and led to a rehabilitation programme for most of this year, however there were still fears of an issue with the medial ligament.

That could have ruled Ferguson out for an estimated five to eight weeks, meaning any chance of featuring in Dublin against France on 27 March would have been slim.

News that the blow he suffered was purely an impact injury will come as a huge relief for Ireland manager Stephen Kenny, although the time frame for his return to action has yet to be fully determined.

It is understood that the nature of the tackle, and delicacy surrounding the area affected, means Brighton are not prepared to rush Ferguson back as they place an emphasis on caution with the player, and while the club expect him to only miss a short period no timeline has been mapped out.

The Meath native has come to the fore with his club following the arrival of new manager Roberto de Zerbi, scoring three Premier League goals and assisting two since the Italian replaced Graham Potter.

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