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Will you attend any Checkatrade Trophy games next season?

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Doubts Over Pringle's Career

By: Richard Lord
Date: 07/03/2002

BROKEN leg victim Martin Pringle has been told by doctors to 'prepare for the worst' after Dave Challinor's ludicrous two-footed lunge has left the Charlton striker's career in tatters. It was only Pringle's second game after a 14-month injury lay-off.

The operation in Stoke least Friday went well, but the doctors wonder if the leg will ever be strong enough to assist the Swede to play in competitive football". Speaking to the Evening Telegraph Pringle revealed: "The doctor says that the bone will heal 100 per cent, but whether it will hold up or not for playing at that level again he can't say.

Stockport manager Carlton Palmer immediately issued a two-week fine on the former Tranmere defender, and Pringle revealed his thoughts at the time of the incident.

"The only thing I will say is that I thought it was unnecessary," said Pringle. "I wasn't in a dangerous area, I was on the halfway line, and that's what gets me. If I was outside the box I could understand it a little bit. But in your own half and nowhere near the goal?

"You can never be prepared to be two-footed from behind in a non-dangerous area. I was so clearly in front of him and on the ball. I knew he was going to be tight to me, but I didn't think he was going to lunge into me. I don't know what he was thinking.

"I knew straight away it was broken. As soon as I hit the floor I knew. I heard it crack.

"If I had been back for two or three years it would have felt different. But I've only been back a couple of months from a similar injury and it's difficult to accept. I was just devastated because it was a really good opportunity for me at Grimsby."

The former Benfica striker's contract expires this summer but the 31-year old is hopeful that Charlton will offer an extended 12-month contract in order for him to recover.

"Hopefully I'll get another year to get fit, but there's nothing written in the laws to say you have to be given it." he concluded.

This story continues on next page Click here for page 2.



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