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By ESPN Staff

Busst: Eduardo will need psychological care

Former Coventry defender David Busst has admitted Eduardo needs to be psychologically nursed back to fitness as well as physically.

The Arsenal striker is recovering from emergency surgery after a tackle from Birmingham defender Martin Taylor in Saturday's Premier League match at St Andrews left him with broken leg.

Busst suffered a career-ending injury in the second minute of a match against Manchester United in April 1996 when he collided with United players Denis Irwin and Brian McClair.

He suffered extensive compound fractures to both the tibia and fibula of his right leg. The match had to be delayed for 15 minutes while the blood was cleaned off the pitch.

The 40-year-old, who had 26 operations but was still unable to make a return, wrote in The Guardian that Eduardo will need emotional support as much as medical assistance.

He said: 'It is an understatement to say that Eduardo's mental state will be fragile right now - he will be anxious and frightened, there will be little space in his head for optimism and hope.

'It is vital that he is put in a positive state of mind as quickly as possible. My doctor said to me quite early on that my leg might have to be amputated, then that I might never walk or run again.

'That didn't help; it was not what I needed to hear. Eduardo needs to be set small, achievable goals. First to concentrate on getting back walking, then jogging, then working on his fitness, then with the ball.'

Busst, who became so interested in the medical aspect of injuries that he took up a clinical sports science course after he retired, said doctors should tell the 25-year-old Gunners striker the exact nature of the injury.

He added: 'It may help Eduardo if he is told as much information about his injury as possible, what has happened to his leg and how the doctors intend to repair it.

'If it's a clean break then he has a chance of perhaps training again within a year but if there is severe muscle and tissue damage then the outlook is less optimistic.

'The doctors will have assessed the extent of the damage to Eduardo's leg by now and, taking his current emotional state into account, they may or may not have told him the diagnosis.

'Whatever that may be, he needs to be given as much positive news and encouragement as possible right now. His livelihood is under severe threat and that alone is a lot for any person to deal with.'