Arsenal youth goalkeeper Tom Smith has been withdrawn from his loan spell with Salisbury after tearing the cartilage in his knee.
Smith had a youth loan arrangement to join Salisbury FC over the summer, and he’d made a positive start to his spell away from Arsenal.
From his debut for Salisbury on 13th August to his injury on 28th September Smith made 10 appearances, keeping a few clean sheets on top of a good number of positive performances.
That came to an end after he injured himself late in the recent win over Hartley Wintney, keeping his last clean sheet intact.
NonLeagueDaily report that Smith has torn his cartilage in his knee and sustained ligament damage in his ankle. It’s likely he’ll require surgery on the knee, but they won’t know for another week whether he’ll also require ankle surgery.
The minimum period of absence is eight to 12 weeks, and Smith has returned to Arsenal for that period of rehabilitation.
Salisbury manager Steve Claridge said: “After the game, Tom thanked me personally for the opportunity he had been given with us, but really it’s for us to thank him, as he fully bought into what we are trying to do and did very well during his spell here.”
Club reporter Alec Hayter was also very complimentary of the goalkeeper, writing after the match: “[Fans] will have seen him (Smith) perform his last act for us in the same efficient manner in which he kept goal during his loan spell.
“If he now returns to Arsenal, I’m sure we all wish him a speedy recovery and better fortune in what is likely to be a successful career in the game.”
Smith made his debut for the Arsenal u23s from the bench last season, playing the final 13 minutes of a 4-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur. He also made nine appearances for the u18s as they won the South Division title, before falling to defeat in the North-South playoff final against Derby.
We wish Tom well with his recovery!