Published: 13:00, 09 April 2014 |
Updated: 14:08, 09 April 2014
League Cup final goalscorer Michael Phillips will miss the rest of the season with a broken toe - after accidentally kicking Maidstone captain Steve Watt in the face.
The clash, which left team-mate Watt with a black eye, happened during the second half of United's 3-0 victory over AFC Sudbury at the Gallagher Stadium on Tuesday night.
Phillips opened the scoring but ended the final in pain and went to Maidstone Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
Doctors confirmed a broken big toe which will rule him out of the final four games of the Ryman League Premier Division season and almost certainly the play-offs if Stones qualify.
Phillips, who had delayed a knee operation in a bid to help United reach the play-offs, can't believe his luck.
He said: "The injury curse has struck again - I'm gutted.
"I remember the ball going over my head and I've not had time to adjust.
"I've gone for an overhead kick and it wasn't until I was in the air that I heard Watto shouting but by then it was too late and I connected with him.
"I was really worried for him when I saw him on the floor as I thought I made have done some serious damage but luckily it's just a black eye.
"I sent him a message to apologise and he said not to be silly and that's he's gutted for me."
Phillips managed to finish the match but knew he had a problem.
Stones' influential midfielder added: "The toe felt painful but the adrenalin of playing in a cup final got me through, especially with the support being as good as it was.
"It wasn't until we stopped playing that it really started throbbing.
"Once we'd done the lap of honour I went back to the changing room and the bruising came out quickly.
"I was lying in bed at home but couldn't sleep for the pain so at half past three in the morning I took myself off to the hospital.
"I had an X-ray which showed the fracture in my big toe, meaning four-to-six weeks out.
"I might be lucky if we get to the play-offs but it's a long shot."
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