Extended Highland League close season allows Forres Mechanics stopper Graham Fraser to make full recovery from foot fracture and prepare for his testimonial year
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FOOTBALL’S shutdown due to the Covid-19 outbreak at least offered a crumb of comfort to injured Forres Mechanics stopper Graham Fraser.
Just days before play was halted on March 13, Fraser had been told his season was already over due to a broken bone in his foot.
At least ending the campaign then meant the 27-year-old Burghead-based player only missed three matches after his fracture misfortune.
Two months on, he is using the extended summer break to get fully fit for his tenth season with the Can-Cans.
“It has been fine giving it a chance to heal,” he said. “I managed to do a run recently and that was the first bit of exercise I’ve had since it happened.
“There was a bit of pain afterwards but that’s just with me getting back into it because I hadn’t done anything more than walk on it.
“I was out a cycle as well so it’s good to be getting some exercise and I will do more cycling just now to protect the foot a bit more for now.”
Injuries have been no stranger to Fraser and his twin brother and Mechanics team-mate Lee over the years.
Both have come back from cruciate surgery in the past, and Graham’s latest woe came in a Friday night match in Inverness at the start of February.
“I didn’t know what it was at first but most of that night I was in agony so I had to go to A&E the next day,” he recalled.
“I was told there was no break and it was probably ligament damage, so I went back to work. But it was still bothering me for the next two weeks.
“I went to a fracture clinic but nothing was showing up on the X-ray. They then set up a scan and it showed I had fractured the miniscula bone, and I was signed off work for four weeks.”
As it was, Forres only played three more matches before the plug was pulled on the season.
Once lockdown restrictions are eased, Fraser will attend physio sessions to be certain that his injury is healing properly.
The traditional pre-season may be many weeks away yet, so time will be on the player’s side to be fit and raring to go for his testimonial year.
Both Graham and Lee were granted a benefit year by Mechanics as reward for signing a contract extension to keep them at Mosset Park for the next two seasons.
They were due to have separate events and games next season, but due to the shutdown, the twins are expected to be given a joint testimonial starting in a year’s time, with the proceeds split 50-50.
The early end to the campaign arrived team-mate Ross MacPherson still to complete his own testimonial programme, with a golf day now set to be held during the coming campaign.
The brothers were just 17 when they signed for Mechanics from Ross County, and both picked up a Highland League winners’ medal in their first full year at the club in 2012.
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