Yesterday’s news, but still worth a post. Per the official:
Following an injury sustained against Bolton Wanderers on Saturday 7th April, the Club can report that Bryan Ruiz sustained a fracture in the 5th metatarsal in his foot.
A small operational procedure has taken place to repair the damage, and the Sports Science team advise a 10 week recovery period, prior to any form of training
Welp, with just about 5.5 weeks left in the season, I think it’s safe to say Ruiz is done for the year. Which is probably the most logical decision as we’re not getting relegated nor are we pushing for Europe.
Ruiz came under a banner of fanfare only to be thrown to the wolves (no, not those Wolves) and make an rather forgettable first appearance against Blackburn. But by the end of his maiden season he was a magnificent cog (if a cog could ever be magnificent) in Jol’s midfield machine.
Sure, the headline stats might not back it up (just two goals and three assists), nor did he have defined role like Dembele, Murphy, or Dempsey. But it was his supporting play where he shined.
His record as a starter is 8W 5D 4L (our overall record is 11W 10D 12L), accounting for 29 of the total 43 points. Of our regular starters, he’s in top 5 in passing completion percentage with 80 percent (according to the Telegraph’s stats), while keeping a relatively low turnover and dispossesed rate (according to whoscored.com). That same site also has him only two-tenths of a point behind Dembele and one-tenths behind Dempsey for “key passes per game”.
On the other hand, he’s been notably absent in our few romps. He came in the 75th minute during our 6-0 romp over QPR, when we were already up 6-0. He was withdrawn at half in our 5-2 win over Newcastle, and we would go on to score all 5 goals with him out. He didn’t even make the bench in Fulham’s 5-0 demolition of Wolves because of injury. And perhaps its an omen or a testament to his ability, but Fulham’s record when Ruiz was subbed into a match is a paltry 1W 4D 5L.
I asked Rich if he had any thoughts about Ruiz’s injury. He said that because it was clear Ruiz was improving every match he played, its almost like 6 games of learning gone for him. Which feels like a rather big deal. Rich added that he can recharge the batteries and gear up for a full pre-season.
“Next year’s a big one for him, especially if we lose Dempsey (likely) or Dembele (possible).”
(Photo sort of sums him up, no?)