Phil Eastwood faces a six-month battle to make the Vintage Clarets squad for the defence of their European crown in Germany next May.
Whalley-born Eastwood, 37, underwent an operation on his left knee that was at first thought to be just a clean-up job. It turned into soemthing a little more serious and Phil had to undergo micro fracture surgery on his left knee at a private hospital in Manchester.
Now a visit to a specialist in two weeks time will reveal more about the time Phil will have to spend on the sidelines but he said: “I have a friend who is a physio at Preston. I bumped into him the other day and he said it will be around four to six months before I am fully fit and able to play properly again.”
That should just see him on the plane to Hamm next May.
Eastwood, married with threee children, started his youth career at Burnley in 1994 and went on to play as a full pro between 1996 and 1999 as a striker, scoring one goal in 16 games for the Clarets before moving on to Morecambe.
He lives in Preston and is a veteran of the trips to Hamm in Germany. Next May will be his third European outing with the VCs.
“It’s great playing for the VCs,” he said. “Its the togetherness and the dressing room banter I like the best but its also playing football the way it should be played – its just that we can’t run the same anymore!”
That may be the case but Phil is no slouch. He is a PE teacher at schools in Blackburn and also likes to particiapte in triathlons. Thats running, cycling and swimming one after the other in a huge test of endurance.
“There is a big one coming up soon but I am going to have to miss out on that too,” he said.
Never mind, Phil just concentrate on getting off those crutches and building towards a couple of games before jetting off to Hamm and helping the VCs defend that trophy!