Birmingham boss furious over Donaldson injury
BIRMINGHAM, England, (CMC):
Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett has lashed out at the way frontline striker Clayton Donaldson was treated by Jamaica during the country’s 2018 World Cup qualifier last week.
The 31-year-old scored the winning goal as the Reggae Boyz beat Haiti 1-0 in Port-au-Prince last Tuesday to post their first win of the CONCACAF fourth round, following a 2-0 defeat to Panama in their opening game.
However, Donaldson returned to Birmingham City injured and was forced to miss Saturday’s clash with Charlton Athletic, which the West Midlands club lost 1-0. He is expected to be sidelined for up to six weeks.
An upset Rowett said he believed the injury to his leading scorer could have been avoided had he received the appropriate care, while on international duty.
“Part of my frustration this week is Clayts (Clayton) came back late Thursday, found out he has torn his groin and is going to be out for six weeks or longer,” Rowett said.
“He went down after ten minutes [in] the Jamaica game, got treatment, went down 15 minutes later, got treatment and told he was absolutely fine and ended up playing 90 minutes.
“At the end if you see the highlights he couldn’t run in two or three of the clips. I am incredibly disappointed with that.”
Donaldson has scored five goals and produced six assists as Birmingham City has made a strong start to the Championship season, and currently lie sixth in the standings.
Born in England, he qualifies to represent Jamaica through his parentage, and was called up for the opening qualifier against Panama on November 13 in Kingston. He was a 62nd minute substitute.
And while he was hailed for his winning second half strike during the Haiti game, Rowett said he should not have been on the pitch that long.
“You take [David] Cotterill and Donaldson out of our team that’s going to hurt any team, let alone a team without bags of goal-scoring players,” Rowett lamented.
“That’s not me pointing the finger, I just think it could have been avoided. We know how things work. When a 31-year-old player travels that far and plays on a 4G pitch in Haiti you can gather what’s probably going to happen when he comes back. Unfortunately our worst fears were realised.”
He continued: “You would expect that maybe either Clayts or someone would realise after ten minutes if he’s injured, he’s injured and needs to come off. Maybe we could have avoided a lengthy absence.”