ELLIS Skidmore says he feels ‘very fortunate’ to have escaped an even more serious injury after he had surgery on a nasty foot laceration.

The Southend Manor striker was on the receiving end of a high tackle after just four minutes of an Essex Senior League game against Hackney Wick at the end of February.

The game was abandoned, with Skidmore treated by the club’s physios for 30 minutes on the pitch before an ambulance arrived.

Following surgery on the deep gash next to his right ankle, the former Concord Rangers and Canvey Island favourite says he is thankful the injury was not worse.

“When it happened I looked down and saw it wasn’t great,” said the 27-year-old from Canvey. “The physio team kept me still as I was on the pitch for half an hour before the ambulance arrived.

“To be fair, it was thought it was worse than it was. The pain wasn’t excruciating but I think the physios were worried about tendon and blood vessel damage.

“I was taken to Newham Hospital and spent two nights there. The doctors had done an X-ray and realised there was no bone damage, just a very deep laceration to the foot.

“The surgeon saw me and said it was not something he wanted to patch up there and then as it was so deep. So I was put under general anaesthetic and had the operation.

“I came around late afternoon the Friday after the game on Tuesday. Thankfully, there was no tendon damage and they stitched it back up. I wondered if I would need a skin graft.

“To be honest, I would say I got very lucky.”

Skidmore will return to hospital next week as doctors assess how well the cut is healing, although the striker admits he is unlikely to play football again this season.

And he says that is frustrating, as he bid to play a part for Manor having only recently returned to the game after two years out.

He said: “I was with Canvey throughout my youth before going to Concord in 2011, but after that I took a few years out because of work. But my workload eased a bit and I decided to come back so joined Southend Manor in January.

“I was getting fitter and then this happened. I doubt I will play again this season. I am not sure what the doctors will say but I don’t want to open it up again. I will take it week by week.

“It was a shame as when we got to Hackney Wick we felt in good shape. We had a good squad and were confident.

“You never expect something like this to happen to you when you step onto a football pitch but it is largely a freak injury. It wasn’t a malicious or bad tackle.

“It is really sore at the moment but every day it gets that little bit stronger.

“I want to thank Hackney Wick for their help on the day and all the staff at Southend Manor as well as everyone that has wished me well. It is nice reading messages when you’re laid up in hospital.”