Dislocated shoulder means Scunthorpe rugby player Ash Dibden is facing another spell on the sidelines
Scunthorpe RUFC have been rocked by an injury to talented three-quarters Ash Dibden.
The 20-year-old centre dislocated his shoulder for the fourth time in his fledgling career during the Greens' 34-0 loss at Nuneaton last Saturday and is now facing another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
Dibden last suffered the injury almost a year to the day of his latest setback – but had returned to Heslam Park feeling as strong as ever following a good pre-season.
Coach Tim Robinson fears the problem will hamper the back's chances of fulfilling his potential.
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"Ash is pretty gutted," said the former full-back.
"He was that tense at the time of the injury the doctor at the ground tried four or five times to get his shoulder back in but couldn't.
"In the end, when they got to hospital, they had to knock him out to put it back in.
"I saw him on Saturday night when we got back and he was pretty distraught but when I spoke to him on Sunday, he was in determined mood he was going to be back.
"We had a long conversation about what the future is going to hold and the processes he might have to go through again.
"I've seen him go through psychological turmoil over the last 18 months.
"He'd done a whole pre-season full of contact, five pre-season games and the Mansfield game last week and said it felt the strongest it had ever been.
"Saturday's was a bit of an innocuous one.
"Ash played the ball in a ruck and the guy that countered it fell on him and his knee went right on the cusp of the shoulder.
"I feel gutted for him. He's got so much potential and we may never see it, which is sad really.
"It was the biggest disappointment of the defeat."
Robinson is unsure just how long the Greens will be without Dibden for, but he is hopeful of a speedier recover than last season, when he missed the whole of the campaign.
"It depends on the process," he said.
"Last year it took him six months to get in with the consultant we needed him to see.
"It should be less this time around, but we've got to chat with our medical staff and him, see the process and make the decision from there.
"We'll have to wait and see, but time will tell."
Scunthorpe have a good blend of youth, experience and talent in the three-quarters, with Kiwi Rewiti Vaimoso and Howard Bishop flanking Oli Wood and Dibden so far.
Replacing the latter is a difficult challenge for Robinson, ahead of the visit of Longton to Heslam Park this weekend, but he is hoping the return of a familiar face comes at just the right time for the Greens.
"Steve Parker has been away with the RAF playing sevens for them in America, but he's back and available," continued the Scunthorpe coach.
"This year there's a lot more competition in the squad.
"There's Jake Goodison and Ben Wright who played in the squad side against Sandal on Saturday, but did really well during pre-season.
"We've got options, but I still wouldn't have wanted what has happened to Ash, especially with what he's been through.
"But it's a contact sport and these things happen."