The highs and lows of football were brutally underlined when Derek McInnes took a call confirming Scott Wright had suffered a bad injury – as he watched Connor McLennan net a winner for Scotland Under-21s.
McInnes was watching live coverage on his iPad of McLennan’s double off the bench in the young Scots’ 2-1 European championship qualifier defeat of Croatia.
However, just as he experienced the high of McLennan’s winner came the crushing blow that winger Wright’s knee injury was far worse than anticipated.
Scans revealed the 22-year-old had suffered cruciate ligament damage to a knee when catching his studs in the pitch during a training session on Monday.
It was an innocuous incident with unfortunate implications for the winger who is now expected to be sidelined for the rest of the season.
McInnes is confident the Aberdonian will recover from this devastating injury set-back and return stronger than ever.
He said: “It is a blow for Scott, but there is no doubt he will come back better and stronger in time.
“That type of injury isn’t what it was 20 or 30 years ago.
“Scott got the injury in training on Monday and we thought initially it was going to be cartilage damage.
“However, the scan results we received on Tuesday night have indicated it is more a cruciate-type injury.
“We will get that confirmed one way or another next week.
“However, it is not looking good for Scott.
“It is really disappointing for Scott and us.
“He has suffered injuries in the past, but this is another one he is going to have to overcome.
“It is disappointing that Scott will have to deal with that.”
Wright is the latest injury blow to hit the Dons in recent weeks as Scotland international centre-back Scott McKenna suffered a hamstring tear in the recent 0-0 draw with Kilmarnock away.
McKenna missed Scotland’s Euro 2020 defeats to Russia and Belgium and is also out of tomorrow’s Premiership clash with St Johnstone at Pittodrie.
Fellow centre-back Ash Taylor also suffered a set-back in his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury when on the verge of returning. The summer signing is out for a number of weeks.
Midfielder Stephen Gleeson has been out for the whole season so far having undergone knee surgery during the summer.
McInnes said: “It is ironic as I received the phone call from the physio about Scott (Wright) at the same time I was watching Connor McLennan score the winning goal for the Scotland U21s.
“That just shows the highs and lows of football.
“From the high of Connor’s performance and how that made me feel to the low of getting that phone call with the news about Scott.
“That is the way it is for footballers, it can be ups and downs.”
Wright returned from a six-month loan spell at Dundee in the summer and forced his way back into the Aberdeen starting line-up for the Euro campaign.
He started in the 2-1 defeat of RoPS Rovaniemi of Finland at Pittodrie in the opening game of the season.
He came off the bench and scored in the 5-0 defeat of Georgians FC Chikhura Sachkhere in the next round at home.
McInnes conceded the winger’s season looks to be over.
He said: “Even if Scott was to get the operation next week at best it would be seven months (of recovery), so effectively the season.”
With such an extended period of rehabilitation ahead will recovery be as much a mental process as physical recuperation?
McInnes said: “Scott will be fine with that. There are a lot of hurdles you need to overcome and that is part of any player’s development, particularly when they are injured.
“I am sure Scott will be fine.
“With his last injury when he was out for two or three months everybody commented on how focused Scott was to come back.
“He will need that discipline and temperament again to get over this type of injury.”