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'LUCKY' ANKLE INJURY IS JUST 'LUCKY' ANKLE INJURY IS JUST.

Byline: BY ANDY TURNER

COVENTRY City utility man Isaac Osbourne should be cursing his luck.

Chris Coleman was considering giving Osbourne a chance in his favoured central midfield role rather than him continuing to fill in at right-back when torn ankle ligaments ruled him out for three months.

But although he is desperately disappointed, he is also thanking his lucky stars that he was not more seriously injured when the studs in his right boot stuck in the turf while his body twisted to one side.

"When you get injured the physio always shows you the DVD footage of when it happened," said the 22-year-old who is on crutches after undergoing ankle surgery.

"Basically my foot stayed in the ground and my ankle rotated, but he said that I was really lucky not to have damaged my knee.

"The way I twisted he said I could easily have done my cruciate ligaments and that would have been eight or nine months out, so the fact that it is only three months is a positive thing for me and I am just grateful that it wasn't worse."

Osbourne, who has been City's regular right-back due to Stephen Wright's ongoing injury problems, had just gone on for the luckless defender in the first half against Swansea last month, but was on the pitch for about 10 minutes before he limped off himself.

"I had an operation to put a metal wire into the joint to strengthen one of the ligaments so it hopefully won't happen again," he said.

"I have got a protective boot on it and it is just a case of waiting for it to heal.

"The timing is a shame because I had been hoping Wrighty would get fit so that I could concentrate on fighting for a place in midfield.

"I heard the manager had said he was thinking about giving me a chance in my favoured position, so it's disappointing that I have missed out on that opportunity, but I am determined to work hard and concentrate on that when I'm fit again."

Amuscular player with a physique that wouldn't be out of place in a body-builders gym, Osbourne admits he has had to tone down his gym work while on the sidelines.

"Although I can't do any cardio vascular training at the moment, I can do a bit of upper body work and chin-ups in the gym," he said.

"I can't go too mad otherwise I will get too big. "I have been in the pool a few times to do a bit of strengthening work but nothing too much at the moment, so it is pretty boring.

"Fortunately I have got a lot of family to keep me company so I have been spending a lot of time with them."

Osbourne, older brother of Villa's Isaiah, is also preparing to be a dad himself with his long-term girlfriend Hazzana expecting their first baby in March, just when he hopes to be back playing football.

The couple are a dab hand on the computer game, Call of Duty, in which players have to kill as many bad guys as they can. "I have been on it a lot lately with all this time on my hands," he said.

"It was funny the other week because I set up a game on line against Michael Mifsud and got my girlfriend to play him.

"He thought he was playing me and she wiped the floor with him, so she's pretty good at it too."

Osbourne is one of several senior players currently out of action at the Ricoh Arena, which has opened the door for a number of youth team players, three of whom were named on the bench at Watford last week.

"We have got a lot of injuries at the minute but it is not the end of the world," he said. "It gives the youngsters a chance.

I remember making my debut at 16 under Gary McAllister and running round like a headless chicken, but it was good experience.

"We have got some good lads coming through, like Jordan Clarke, Curtis Wynter, Adam Walker and Ashley Cain, and even if they don't play it is great for them to be involved in first-team training and part of the match-day squad.

"But hopefully a fewof the injured boys will start coming back to fitness soon and I can't wait until February time when hopefully I will be getting ready to make my comeback."

CAPTION(S):

CHIN-UP: Injured Isaac Osbourne is hitting the gym
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Dec 21, 2008
Words:757
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