News chief sports writer Neil Allen caught up with midfielder Danny Rose this week to discuss the broken leg that threatens to end his season and his rehabilitation following the cruel blow.
In the second instalment of our four-part series, Rose talks about initially fearing for his future before being given peace of mind by the Blues...
Realisation struck, then fear engulfed Danny Rose as he wept on his hospital bed.
A Pompey future plunged into doubt, ongoing contract talks halted mid-sentence. The freak injury had cast a gloomy outlook.
For almost 40 minutes Rose was alone, lying on the X-ray bed at the Spire Portsmouth Hospital in Havant, drowning in his thoughts.
Niall Flynn, one of Pompey’s doctors, had moments earlier delivered the bombshell that the tibia in his left leg was broken.
For me, the worst was thinking about contracts. That overwhelmed my mind – it wasn’t even about playing – and lots of tears flowedDanny Rose
There was hope a tackle from Northampton’s John-Joe O’Toole had inflicted nothing more than severe bone bruising.
The outcome was considerably more alarming. Particularly for a 29-year-old entering the final six months of contract.
Rose, the League One rookie, had battled back from selection sidelining to produce arguably the best football of his Fratton Park career.
Then, during a first-half drop ball against his former club, a cruel change of fortune arrived.
Rose told The News: ‘The lowest point was following the X-ray and Niall came back to say it was a leg break. We still weren’t sure up to that point.
‘I just said “How long?” and he replied “You’re looking at about four months, the season’s finished. I’m ever so sorry”.
‘I can’t imagine that is nice for him to have to pass on that type of news to anybody.
‘I then had 30-40 minutes to myself and that was the toughest. I was on my own while waiting for Niall to sort out arrangements to get me to QA Hospital.
‘That was emotional, knowing the season was finished. All sorts of things go through your mind at that point – and you fear the worst.
‘For me, the worst was thinking about contracts. That overwhelmed my mind – it wasn’t even about playing – and lots of tears flowed.
‘It was the thought of needing to support and provide for the family, rather than making sure I could get fit again.
‘I knew deep down I’d be able to recover, but thinking about the contract set me off emotionally.
‘At that point it was the question mark of not knowing how the club would react, how the gaffer would react, knowing we had opened talks to a degree before the injury. What did the future hold?
‘I look back now and was glad to be on my own as I was able to get that out of my system a little bit.
‘As soon as I arrived at QA, my wife was there, along with Kyle Bennett and his family, my agent and Pompey’s medical staff.
‘It was nice to have everyone present. If you are on your own for a lot of time, the mind can take you to dark places.’
Subsequently, Kenny Jackett pledged contract negotiations would continue, irrespective of Rose’s setback. Pompey have been as good as their word.
Peace of mind then for the popular midfielder as talks approach a conclusion.
And having previously endured a hamstring problem for Oxford as his worst injury, he is able to candidly reflect on a potentially career-changing day.
Rose added: ‘One of the most painful parts of getting to hospital was being taken in a chair which had wheels – not a wheelchair – down Fratton Park’s narrow corridors and into Niall’s car.
‘The wait would have been too long for an ambulance, so big Kev McCormack picked me up and somehow put me into the back of this Jaguar SUV.
‘I was sitting across the back seat holding on to the back of the passenger seat!
‘Eventually, I went to QA that night following the X-ray, when they managed to get me into a private ward. The staff were incredible.
‘Now I’m looking to the future with optimism.’