Raith Rovers: striker Aidan Connolly admits he was 'stupid' to play on through pain barrier after tearing ankle ligaments

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Crocked Raith Rovers star Aidan Connolly has revealed that he played through the pain barrier of an agonising ankle injury for two months after sustaining it during the 3-0 Scottish Cup quarter-final defeat to Rangers at Ibrox Stadium on March 12.

Fans’ favourite Connolly, 27, who signed a new two-year deal at Raith this summer having been their top goalscorer for the past two seasons, explained how he wrecked his right ankle during that Govan tie and how he regrets the “stupid” decision to keep playing for the remainder of the 2022-23 season.

The former Falkirk winger told the Fife Free Press: "Borna Barisic (Rangers defender) took a touch down the line to cross it about 30 minutes into the game and I’ve gone to go shoulder to shoulder with him and he’s nudged me, put me off balance and my whole ankle basically gave way.

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"Because of the speed we were running at it’s obviously just torn ligaments.

Aidan Connolly signed a contract extension with Raith this summer (Pic Tony Fimister)Aidan Connolly signed a contract extension with Raith this summer (Pic Tony Fimister)
Aidan Connolly signed a contract extension with Raith this summer (Pic Tony Fimister)

“I did three ankle ligaments but I just kept playing through it. I was never going to go off.

"We were lacking numbers, I just kept going through the pain.

"I played on for two months with my ankle basically gubbed, not the smartest idea.

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"I was taking a lot of paracetemol and medication to stop the pain but obviously it was stupid because now I’m out for a while because of it.

"It was so sore. Now when I think about it I should have stopped because even in training I wasn’t playing the same.

"I couldn’t really do the same things. I didn’t think it was as bad as what it’s actually come out.

"I think I’ve injured my ankle badly and then me playing on it has made it a lot worse than what it would have been if I’d stopped.”

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Connolly, who is in the early stages of his rehabilitation work just now after wearing a moon boot for two weeks, explained the current position in his battle to get back to full fitness.

He said: "I’m just doing basic ankle work, balance work and leg work, nothing crazy.

"I think I’m going to be out for six to eight weeks so hopefully I’ll be back in August.

"There’s no rushing because I’ve done a lot of damage to it so I need to watch and make sure I’m doing the right stuff coming back.”

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With Raith under new ownership and with some exciting new signings made as pre-season fixtures continue, Connolly’s absence is being taken particularly hard by the player himself.

He added: "Of course being out with this injury is made doubly disappointing because it’s exciting times for the club under new owners and a lot of new players signed.

"The last two years I think I’ve been fit for nearly every game. I want to be involved in it but I need to make sure I’m right for coming back because I want to come back when I’m 100%.

“There’s going to be a lot more competition and if you’re going to be successful you want to have competition for every position so that you’re playing to your maximum and playing at your best.

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"Because you know if you don’t play at your best you’ll be back out for somebody else that’s sitting waiting for their chance.

"It’s going to be competitive and I think that’s a good thing and exciting for Raith going forward.”

Rovers’ opening Viaplay Cup Group F fixture is a live televised home clash against local rivals Dunfermline Athletic on Saturday, July 15 and Connolly is gutted to be missing it.

"You want to be playing in those games,” he said. “They are the best games when you're at Raith Rovers, games against the likes of Dunfermline and Falkirk.

"But it's a long season and you never know what can happen. There will be other big games throughout the season.

"We'll play Dunfermline four times in the league so I'll get my chance again.”

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