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Another setback for former Ireland U21 captain in injury-ravaged career

Tommie Hoban, who’s on loan at Aberdeen from Watford, was stretchered off with a knee injury on Saturday.

Watford defender Tommie Hoban has suffered another injury blow while on loan at Aberdeen.
Watford defender Tommie Hoban has suffered another injury blow while on loan at Aberdeen.
Image: PA Archive/PA Images

TOMMIE HOBAN’S ROTTEN luck with injuries continued during Aberdeen’s 2-2 draw with St Mirren in the Scottish Premiership.

After injuring his knee by catching his studs in the turf, the 25-year-old defender left the field on a stretcher shortly before half-time in Saturday’s game at Pittodrie.

Hoban is now expected to be faced with another spell on the sidelines, with the former Republic of Ireland U21 captain due to have a scan today to learn the extent of the damage.

“It’s a knee injury of some sort, we don’t know exactly what,” said Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes. “We’ll get him scanned [today]. I’m hoping it’s not as serious as it appears, and if there’s any justice for him it won’t be with the amount of injuries he’s had.

“It’s too early to speculate, but he’s in a bit of discomfort so we’ll see how he goes. I was talking to the press before the game and saying how good a player he’s been for us and how he deserves the opportunity to go and get some games in because he’s such a good player. It’s a real disappointment.”

Hoban had only returned to action last month, having suffered a shoulder injury in his league debut for Aberdeen back in August. This is the latest setback in an injury-ravaged career.

The London-born player made 30 appearances for Watford during the 2014-15 season, which ended with the Hornets being promoted to the Premier League.

Despite being handed his first-team debut for the club at the age of 17, Hoban has yet to play his 100th professional game as a result of previous knee, shoulder, ankle and pelvic injuries which have caused long-term absences.

He was sent out on loan to Aberdeen in order to accumulate much-needed game-time, having missed the entirety of last season after rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament.

“Tommie has came back from his injuries this season and you can see the excitement and delight in his face in training. He’s been superb in training and buzzing to be back and then that happens,” Aberdeen captain Graeme Shinnie told the club’s official website.

“We are all absolutely gutted for him. We don’t know at this stage how bad the injury is but it did not look good. It’s tough for him, we wish him well and hopefully he can bounce back.”

Hoban qualifies to play for Ireland via his Dublin-born mother and his paternal grandparents, who hail from Limerick and Westport. In addition to wearing the captain’s armband for the U21s, his form was monitored by Martin O’Neill during his reign as Irish senior boss.

“Captaining the U21s was massive for me,” Hoban said in an interview with The42 earlier this month. “Leading the team out with the green jersey on, standing there for the national anthem as captain of your country, there’s not much that can top that. It’s something I’m massively proud of and so are my family.

“Getting into the senior set-up is not going to be easy, but it’s a challenge that I’m up for. If I can stay fit and keep playing, I’d be hopeful that my performances will warrant a call-up. If and when that comes, I’ll be ready. It’s definitely something I’m working towards.” 

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Paul Dollery

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