Freak finger injuries nothing new at Portsmouth, ask Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes suffered a similar injury to Ronan Curtis during his Pompey playing days
Richard Hughes suffered a similar injury to Ronan Curtis during his Pompey playing days
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Ronan Curtis’ finger injury may have occurred during freakish circumstances – but Richard Hughes blazed the trail at Pompey.

Curtis was at home on Tuesday morning when the wind blew a door onto a finger, severing the tip.

Requiring immediate surgery, the Irishman missed that evening’s 3-2 success at Walsall.

There remains a fear he could also miss the Checkatrade Trophy final on March 31 at Wembley.

Certainly former Blues midfielder Hughes can feel empathy towards Curtis, having endured the same injury in January 2003.

Occurring at their Wellington Sports Ground training base, he lost the tip of the third finger on his right hand.

And the player who went on to make 165 appearances for Pompey was ruled out for a month.

Hughes  told The News: ‘It was a bizarre training ground accident.

‘That Monday morning was windy at the Wellington Sports Ground and I had gone into the Portacabin to see physio Gary Sadler for strapping.

‘As I left, I remembered the door had flown open and almost knocked me back. Well, being the conscientious person I think I am, on the way out I didn’t want it to slam and give everyone the fright of their lives, so put my hand in the way.

‘With no safety hinge in place, it severed my finger.

‘It was one of those surreal moments in life, I saw a finger lying down on the pebbles and my instant reaction was “Whose finger is that?”.

‘It was such a clean slice I didn’t feel it straight away and went into a bit of shock. I’m not good with stuff like that anyway, going into a state of denial and forgetting it happened.

‘I headed back into the treatment room, apparently absolutely white, and walking past two or three of the lads, ignoring Mark Burchill when he said “Good morning”.

‘I told Gary Sadler that I’d “nicked my finger on the door” , but he soon realised the extent of the damage.

‘The assistant physio, John McKeown, put my remaining finger in a cup with some ice, dragged me into his car and drove me to Southampton A&E, where I was asked the question whether I needed my finger for my occupation.

‘They then had to clip the rest of the bone so when the skin grew back it would have a soft padding on my finger.

‘The injury put me out for a month –  and when I next popped into the training ground they were putting a safety hinge on that door!’