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Non-league: Howes injury casts 'massive cloud' over Dolphins
Killick will try to prepare his players to host Evesham tonight in the wake of Howes sustaining a potentially career-threatening knee problem on Saturday.
A medical examination on Sunday revealed the 29-year-old had suffered cartilage and ligament damage to the left leg following a challenge from Merthyr Town’s Nathan Davies, who was immediately sent off.
Midfielder Howes will discover the full extent of the injury on Friday although Dolphins manager Killick has already ruled him out for the rest of the season.
Killick, who claimed the tackle in the 2-2 draw had been “extremely reckless and unnecessary”, told the Daily Echo: “It really has knocked us. Glenn is a popular and respected player with everyone at the club.
“It really has put a massive cloud over the whole season. That sounds quite a big thing to say but it really has.
“I find it quite difficult when something like this happens.
“It is difficult when you see the impact it is going to have on someone’s life, and when it is avoidable.”
Second-placed Poole, who are five points behind leaders Hungerford with five games in hand, entertain Evesham at Tatnam tonight (7.45pm).
Killick is hoping his players will display a similar mentality to Howes when they continue their promotion push in Southern League Division One South & West.
He added: “When I spoke to him on Sunday night, he was more interested in talking about why we hadn’t won the game after he had gone off, rather than the other stuff I wanted to talk to him about.
“That is the sort of mentality we have got to adopt. We are trying to get strength from it but it is difficult to do that.”
Merthyr chairman Meurig Price told the Daily Echo: “The tackle was a foul and it was a sending off. But it wasn’t as bad as it looked.
“Nathan said it was a clash of shins. He said he didn’t go in with his studs showing. Nathan is not that kind of player and would never go into a tackle to hurt another player.”
The incident at Merthyr’s Penydarren Park came a fortnight after AFC Bournemouth defender Tommy Elphick had been injured following an X-rated tackle from MK Dons striker Ryan Lowe.
Cherries star Elphick offered words of encouragement to Howes by saying: “There is a lot of hope for him with the technology and the knowledge of our doctors and surgeons, so I am sure he will be fine, but it is a massive blow for him.”
Meanwhile, Keith Emmerson is unavailable to face Evesham but Killick has drafted in Taffy Richardson, Lee Collier and Steve Brown.
Dolphins: (from) Hutchings, Tallack, Spetch, Clarke, Walker, Burbidge, Devlin, Byerley, Preston, Brooks, Charles, Kelly, Dibba, Cann, Richardson, Collier, S Brown, T Brown.