Norwich City's trophy-lifting celebrations at Barnsley slightly marred by seeing extent of Kenny McLean's injury
Amid the joyous scenes of lifting the Championship trophy at Oakwell last Saturday was the disheartening sight of Kenny McLean on crutches.
McLean limped off during the second half of the 2-2 draw against Barnsley with a knee injury. It’s since been confirmed McLean suffered ligament damage and faces a 12-week lay-off, meaning he will miss out on Scotland’s Euro 2020 campaign.
It must also place doubts over whether the 29-year-old will be fit for the start of the Premier League campaign, which gets under way on the weekend of August 14.
After playing such an integral role in this record-breaking season, it is a devastating blow for McLean.
So few players get the privilege of representing their country at a major tournament and to have that opportunity snatched away at this late stage is bound to hurt badly – particularly when you consider McLean was the man to send his country through, scoring the winning penalty in the play-off against Serbia.
I hope he can at least take some comfort in that achievement as the recovery period begins.
Another player who may yet suffer the same heartbreak is Teemu Pukki.
Pukki picked up an ankle injury in the win over Reading and now faces a race against time to get himself fit. After almost single-handedly carrying Finland to qualification with 10 goals, it would again be a crying shame for Pukki to miss out. More than anybody, he deserves the chance to shine of the biggest stage.
However, the worst thing that could happen is for the 31-year-old to be rushed back and suffer more damage, and I’m sure the club will be very wary of that.
The injuries to McLean and Pukki – as well as to Ben Gibson and Oliver Skipp – show what a tough, gruelling season it has been. But it’s been a season that will live long in the memory for so many reasons – not least for the success on the pitch.