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Olympics2000

Wednesday, 13 September, 2000, 02:40 GMT 03:40 UK
Nilis clears Wright
Luc Nilis
Nilis feels the pain after clashing with Wright
Aston Villa striker Luc Nilis has cleared Ipswich goalkeeper Richard Wright of blame over the injury which is threatening to end his career.

Nilis broke his right leg in two places and was carried off in agony after a fourth-minute collision with Wright in Saturday's Premiership encounter at Portman Road.

The Belgium international's father, Roger, hit out at Wright over his challenge and claimed: "The goalkeeper was wild and he came out at Luc with too much force - and I am very upset about that."

But 33-year-old Nilis, speaking for the first time since the double setback, insisted: "It was just one of those things and he (Wright) didn't do it deliberately.

Split seconds

"It was a case of me not seeing him as I went for the ball and it all happened in a few split seconds."

Nilis has already undergone two operations in The Ipswich Hospital - but the consolation for the former PSV Eindhoven star is that the pain has started to ease.


I am not thinking about my future at this stage
  Luc Nilis

"The last three days have not been so good but now I feel much better," he said. "There is still some pain but I can handle it now."

Nilis is refusing to contemplate at this juncture whether he will be forced to hang up his boots.

"I will just watch the next few months and see how things go," he said. "I am not thinking about my future at this stage."

Future

Orthopaedic surgeon Milind Sawant, who carried out emergency surgery on Nilis's leg, is giving little away as to what the future will hold for the player, who featured for his country in Euro 2000.

"I think we will just wait and see over the next few weeks," he said. "We should know more about his progress then - but so far, so good."

Nilis is expected to leave hospital on Friday and will recuperate back home in Belgium.

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11 Sep 00 |  Aston Villa
Gregory's Nilis waiting game
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