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Last Updated: Monday, 20 February 2006, 08:03 GMT
Smith describes broken leg agony
Alan Smith is helped by Man Utd team-mate Wes Brown
Smith broke a leg and dislocated an ankle against Liverpool
Midfielder Alan Smith hopes to make a full recovery after suffering a horrific leg break in Manchester United's FA Cup defeat by Liverpool.

Smith broke his left leg and dislocated his ankle after falling awkwardly.

"When I looked, the leg was lying one way and my ankle was pointing towards Hong Kong so I knew I was in serious trouble," the 25-year-old told The Sun.

"But the doctors are very positive, I've had an operation and now it's a question of starting on the road back."

Smith collapsed in agony after he tried to block a John Arne Riise free-kick in the closing stages of the fifth-round tie.

The midfielder is expected to be out for at least nine months after undergoing surgery on Sunday.

Smith is a strong-minded and determined character and that will help him
Ex-Coventry defender David Busst

"The leg will be in plaster for several weeks and everyone connected with the club is wishing Alan all the best for a speedy recovery," said a United statement.

The severity of the injury and the shocked reaction of players from both teams drew comparisons to the career-ending injury suffered by Coventry defender David Busst at Old Trafford in 1996.

Busst told the Sun: "It did bring back memories of what happened to me and you could tell by the players' reactions how horrendous the injury was.

"When I did mine, Peter Schmeichel could not bear to look and there were a few of the United players who were covering their faces on Saturday.

"But Smith is a strong-minded and determined character and that will help him get through this."

Liverpool striker Djibril Cisse, who came back from a broken leg last season, also backed Smith to recover.

"After the game I went straight to the United dressing room - I wanted to see him and say that I knew how he was feeling," said the Frenchman.

Ryan Giggs (left) and Gary Neville
United's players were visibly shocked by Smith's injury

"I just told him to be strong. The break looked to be bad but he can recover from it well and get even stronger afterwards."

United defender Gary Neville admitted he was "stopped in his tracks" by Smith's plight.

"Alan's injury puts it all into perspective," Neville told MUTV.

"We didn't get the chance to see him immediately after the game but all our thoughts are with him.

"It made what was a bad day 10 times worse. Sometimes things happen that stop you in your tracks, no matter how big the game you're playing in."

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said of the injury: "It's one of the worst I've seen. It's a very long-term injury."

The game was delayed by five minutes as Smith received treatment.

United's medical team were given help by Liverpool club doctor Mark Waller as Smith waited to be carried off on a stretcher.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: David O'Leary on Alan Smith's injury



SEE ALSO
Liverpool 1-0 Man Utd
18 Feb 06 |  FA Cup
Smith set to have leg operation
19 Feb 06 |  Man Utd


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