Raith Rovers: Goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski explains 'one of the strangest experiences of my life' which led to him missing last weekend's 1-0 defeat at Airdrieonians

Raith Rovers goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski has been recounting the freak run of bad luck which saw him knocked unconscious in training having already sustained recent injuries to his head and hip.
Raith Rovers goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski in action (Pic by Eddie Doig)Raith Rovers goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski in action (Pic by Eddie Doig)
Raith Rovers goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski in action (Pic by Eddie Doig)

Polish cult hero Dabrowski, 25, had been an ever present for the Kirkcaldy club this season until sitting out last Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Airdrieonians which saw the Scottish Championship leaders suffer only their second league defeat of the campaign, to the same opposition.

“Basically I had a couple of injuries at the one time,” Dabrowski – who hopes to return between the sticks for Raith’s home league fixture against Queen’s Park this Saturday - told the Fife Free Press. “When I saved a shot from (Louis) Moult (in the 1-0 league win at Dundee United on December 16) it was a long stretch save and when I landed I hit my head on the ground. Then, when I stretched my arm I damaged my left hip, stretching the muscle in it so it was very painful.

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"From that game I struggled a little with movement so I wasn’t able to train properly for a week.

"Then in training (the following Monday) I went for a cross and our centre-back Dan O’Reilly jumped into me when I punched the ball and he went straight into the hip again. What are the chances of that?

"I lost consciousness and the next time I woke up I was in the physio room. I couldn’t believe what was going on. It was one of the strangest experiences of my life.

"After a couple of minutes when I got better I remembered that after going for that cross in training I had hit my head when I landed in a very awkward way.

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"I never trained on that day, just tried to recover and managed to feel slightly better but the head was very sore. I had a massive bruise on it, it was huge, it was black. Two weeks later you can still see it, although it's small.

"That was before the Ayr United game (a 4-4 home league draw on December 22) but I said to the coaches I would manage to play in that and I was right. I’m very happy I managed to play the full 90 minutes but I wasn’t 100% as I was in such big pain.

"I didn’t train properly for a week after that and I played against Arbroath (a 2-2 home league draw on December 30) although my quad was sore when I kicked the ball.

"I could feel, especially in the second half, that after every kick my thigh was getting worse and worse.

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"At the end of the game when I went to get the ball and take a touch, I felt a massive pull in my quad and I knew there was something wrong.

"I just kicked the ball out for a throw-in to not let them score, lay down and asked the referee to give me help from the medical staff.

"I finished that game but I knew it wasn’t good because it was quite sore.

"I was in lots of pain but I still managed to play against Dunfermline (a 2-1 Raith away league win on January 2).

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"That was a different game. I wasn’t able to take goal kicks, my defenders took them.

"And any time I had the ball in my hand, instead of kicking it from hand I just threw it.

"Actually I was quite good. The first time the Dunfermline players saw me throw it they couldn’t believe it, they were asking: ‘What’s going on here?’

"Playing with a quad strain in a derby and beating them was honestly the best feeling of my entire career because it was a tough challenge for me. That was the most painful game I’ve played but I’m happy I managed through it and my team needed me as well.”

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On Airdrieonians being the only side to beat Raith in the league this season, Dabrowski added: “I hope it stays this way. We are looking forward to playing them in the SPFL Trust Trophy semi-final (at Stark’s Park on Friday, February 2) because we have something to prove.

"We need to beat them because we have already played them three times this season and we still haven’t done it.

"There are probably lots of factors behind it. Our manager (Ian Murray) used to be their manager so most of the staff there know his game plan etcetera, they know what to expect.

"They are a good organised team and they are not afraid of offensively playing forward and they are quite solid defensively.

"Every time we play them it’s always been tough.”

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On his prospects of being back to face Queen’s Park this weekend, Dabrowski added: "I’ve been doing all the stuff on my quad at the gym with the physiotherapist. The plan is to go out on Thursday and do a goalie training session.

“If everything goes perfectly and the muscle recovers as planned then I should be fine for Saturday. But if not it will be the next one.”