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Dartford boss Tony Burman explains why winger Ryan Hayes missed five months of the season through injury

By Steve Tervet
Ryan Hayes Picture: Andy Payton
Ryan Hayes Picture: Andy Payton

Dartford have revealed why winger Ryan Hayes ended up missing such a big chunk of the season through injury.

Hayes hasn’t played since November, having picked up a knee problem during the Darts’ 4-3 win over Hyde on October 19. He played on through the pain barrier for another five games but was then sidelined for an anticipated five weeks.

Dartford boss Tony Burman said in January that Hayes wasn’t responding to treatment as well as he should be and the mercurial left-footer, although he turned up to home games, got no closer to fitness between then and the end of the season.

Burman said: "We had two consultants looking at Ryan. There was a bit of a disagreement about what was the cause of Ryan’s problem and that’s what ended up taking so long. His injury was diagnosed and then re-diagnosed.

"We felt that Ryan didn’t need an operation and the consultant felt that if Ryan tried to strengthen his knee, that was the first course of rehab. With Ryan’s work, and Christmas, and that sort of thing, it got in the way a little bit.

"After the time we were asked to do the rehab rather than have an operation, it didn’t work. We then let him see another consultant and his diagnosis was different. He felt he should have an exploratory operation. He’s told us that he’s really happy with that operation.

"We felt that Ryan had a cruciate ligament problem. We tried to strengthen that before going into an operation. There was a chance that he didn’t need an operation – and there still is that chance after the exploratory operation he’s had."

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