You just knew as soon as it happened it was bad, by the way the other Everton players reacted, the grimaces, the hands on the faces. It was, and always is, just horrible.
It was yet another injury blow to Martinez and Everton but regardless of how the game panned out and how depleted our squad might currently look, one of our players was the main concern to Everton fans like myself last night.
I actually felt physically sick for Bryan Oviedo as he was stretchered off in the first half against Stevenage. I’ve seen players get injured before and some incidents have been much worse but Oviedo’s double leg break was very tough to see for myself, and other Blues, not only because it means his World Cup dreams are in jepordy but because we all know how hard he has worked to be in this Everton team and to see such an innocuous challenge result in that happening is a real sickener.
Since breaking into the team before Christmas, Bryan Oviedo has taken his opportunity and proved to everyone that he is worthy of a place in this Everton side. His attitude, adaptability and work ethic has been nothing short of top-notch. From the moment he stepped in to fill the void left by Baines he has shown great character, professionalism and become a popular figure amongst the Club’s supporters. That goal at United obviously helped him on his way to doing so but his goals are something that has proved again that he isn’t just a back-up defender/midfielder, happy to stay in the shadows and coast through the odd game now and then. No, not at all, since Moyes brought him to Goodison Park he has had to be patient, but now given the opportunity, he has shown the ability he has, both offensively and defensively. He has believed in himself, remained focussed on getting into the team and eventually a window of opportunity appeared – he took it well and has since been regularly involved. Last week Martinez even deployed him out on the right – he wanted to accommodate Oviedo in his side. This speaks volumes. Last night he started the game at the Lamex Stadium and he would have probably been involved at Liverpool in midweek too and he only has himself to thank for gaining this recognition, his patience and hard work had paid off.
So, to see him on a stretcher last night was not only a blow because we will miss him and do need him around the team, but mainly because we all know it couldn’t have come at a worse time for the lad. He’s still only 23 remember, looking forward to a World Cup with Costa Rica and had finally found his feet at this Club. He was enjoying his best spell since moving to England and there is no denying he would have continued to be involved from now until the end of the current Premier League campaign. It really is upsetting to see it happen to Bryan, who is someone his manager has described as a “nice human being and incredible professional”.
The Club have confirmed it is a double fracture, in both the tibia and fibula, that Oviedo has sustained in his left leg and the Costa Rican will remain in hospital over the weekend before undergoing surgery on Monday. It is unclear how long he will be out for but I think I speak on behalf of all Evertonians when I wish him a speedy recovery. Some things are more important than football and last night, and throughout his time on the side lines that are to follow, our thoughts were with, and will be with, Bryan Oviedo.
Get well soon lad, you’ll be back.