Published: 10:55, 25 July 2019
| Updated: 11:41, 25 July 2019
Dartford's Sam Blackman faces months on the sidelines after breaking his leg in a pre-season friendly.
The club confirmed the news on Thursday morning after the midfielder was stretchered off during the match against Bromley on Tuesday night.
Blackman, who came through the Dartford academy, had rejoined the club this summer but will now miss a large chunk of the National League South season.
Blackman's injury was the result of what looked an innocuous challenge on the touchline towards the end of the first half.
But his reaction suggested he knew it was serious straight away, the midfielder beating the turf in obvious pain as the medical staff rushed on to help.
Blackman received treatment for several minutes and was given oxygen with the referee blowing for half-time early to clear the pitch.
He was taken to hospital where it was confirmed he'll need surgery on his left leg.
Blackman's injury comes a year after Dartford lost another of their key players to a broken leg in pre-season.
Andy Pugh also needed surgery after colliding with the Colchester goalkeeper and was out for nine months before making his comeback in April.
Speaking on the KM Football Podcast, he spoke about his determination to get back playing.
Pugh said: “I’m not going to rush it but maybe I can have a role to play at the very end of the season.
“I believe I’ve got the mental strength to deal with this and come back from it.
“I’ve had days when I’ve cried myself to sleep. I love the game so much and I won’t let (the injury) beat me."
Speaking after the Bromley game on Tuesday night, joint-manager Adam Flanagan admitted there were strong parallels.
He said: "We were really hoping for big things from Andy before he did his leg.
"Sam’s already shown in pre-season what an asset he’ll be for this club and it just seems Lady Luck is not going our way unfortunately.
"But it’s a long season and hopefully Sam can still play a part."