AFC Wimbledon blog: Prior injury a testing time for commentators
A live commentary can pitch you a difficult situation to deal with, but you need to stay grounded among highly-charged, emotive scenes to attempt to present the facts - particularly if acquaintances of a player are tuned-in.
Broadcasting limits were tested on Saturday when, it has to be said, malicious or not, Crawley’s Hope Akpan went in with an atrocious attempt at a tackle after just six minutes on Wimbledon’s new striker Jason Prior.
The result - a deserved straight red for Akpan and a double leg break and a minimum six months on the sidelines for the Dons target man.
It was a real sickener. Colleagues were initially shaken in an already stirred up league two meeting, especially with the unfortunate former Bognor striker having just returned to the side.
Prior would still top the Ryman One-South goal scoring chart, but clinched a dream move to full-time football in January.
On an afternoon when skipper Jamie Stuart regained his "proper warrior" persona, a major fillip later arrived at Prior’s hospital bedside in the form of league status finally secured following a charged up draw.
Wimbledon are fortunate to have an extremely skilled and dedicated physio in Mike Rayner.
His calmness and of those around him, in a bear pit Broadfield atmosphere at the time, delivered those first, vital few moments of immediate after care. Terry Brown’s faith and Rayner’s healing powers have a decent past track record of coming good with long term victims.
Midfielder and goal scorer Sammy Moore has returned stronger this season as a player-of-the-year candidate after the disappointment of missing out on play-off glory with a serious knee injury picked up last year in March.
Defender Mat Mitchel-King arrived pre-season recovering from glandular fever and despite injury set backs has become a useful figure in central defence - proved again at the weekend.
From early impressions, ex-Toon trialist Prior has shown he wants to grasp the opportunity of becoming a professional with both hands and he’ll not only get expert attention, but the required encouragement from a close group of team-mates and caring fan base on the long road back.
Born in 1988, the year of their FA Cup triumph, Prior only has to look to legendary Wimbledon striker Alan Cork and his successes after he returned from a lengthy injury lay-off due to a leg break in his career.
The Dons, two points short of the targeted 50 for this season, face another tough task this Saturday when they entertain automatic promotion chasers Torquay.
You can listen to Saturday's game with Torquay United on Radio WDON at wdon.com or via wimbledonstadium.com. Visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/RadioWDON or follow them on Twitter @RadioWDON.