SCOTT Arnold fears his non-league career could be over as he sweats on the extent of a serious knee injury.

The Wimborne Town skipper was forced off just nine minutes into the 2-1 home win over Tiverton Town on Saturday.

Arnold felt his knee buckle after a collision with fellow defender Matt Oldring during the Southern League South fixture. And the Magpies stalwart is set to find out his fate later this week.

The 33-year-old, who has played more than 550 games for the club, told the Daily Echo: “They think it’s either knee cartilage or the cruciate ligament – I'm hoping it’s not the latter.

“It has been a bit frustrating on a personal note this season. I was itching to try to do myself justice and nine minutes into the game, that happened.

“If there is one person you don’t want to come through you, it’s Matt Oldring! We both went to block the tackle – he flew in and I had my leg planted.

“The force of his body sent my knee back on itself. It gave way and buckled.

“I knew straight away. You don’t get that feeling very often when you know something is not right. Now I am laid up and thinking, worst-case scenario, could this be the end or not?

“Hopefully, it is better news than bad news and I can get back to try to get that appearance milestone. I am on more than 550 now and I want to get to 600.”

Arnold revealed the injury would affect his life away from football, as well as hinder the Christmas preparations of others.

“You always get told to play as long as you can but, when you are older and get a bad one, you have to reassess things,” he said.

“I am a self-employed carpenter and if I am laid up and have to have an operation, it’s a long time out of work.

“I was meant to be starting a cut roof and was meant to be on it for two or three weeks to get them in the dry for Christmas. That’s not going to happen.

“It wrecks everything. Playing the game we love can make a hard impact on your work life. There is always that risk.”

Defender Arnold has been inundated by get-well messages from team-mates and other non-league clubs via social media, which he said had kept his spirits up.

“It’s nice to see the amount of love I am getting on Twitter,” said Arnold.

“I have played non-league for 17 years and you get such a base of friends from all different sides with players, supporters and managers.

“There are times when things like this happen when everyone perks you up. It helps so much.”

Defending champions Wimborne tomorrow visit Wessex League Shaftesbury Town in the quarter-finals of the Dorset Senior Cup.

Poole Town host Dorset Premier League outfit Swanage Town & Herston and Verwood Town make the trip to Bridport (all 7.45pm).