Devastated Jim Ervin has vowed to “come back stronger” from a second serious knee injury.
Ervin limped off after just 28 minutes of last Saturday’s Irish Cup Final with Glenavon at Windsor Park.
A subsequent scan this week revealed a ruptured cruciate ligament and a grade two medial ligament injury.
The defender will have surgery at the end of this month before embarking on a gruelling nine-month rehabilitation programme.
Ervin – who suffered a similar injury six years ago – insists he will bounce back from this latest set-back.
“It was devastating to find out the extent of the damage on Thursday,” he said.
“It didn’t feel as bad this time, so I thought I might have got away with something minor. But the scans have shown up extensive damage, so I now need surgery.
“There is never a good time to pick up an injury like this, but for it to happen after 28 minutes of an Irish Cup final was devastating.”
Ervin says he will draw on the experience of his last cruciate injury as he plans his recovery.
“I know what I am getting into this time, so I am under no illusions,” he added.
“I know what lies ahead, with the surgery and the rehab. It is a long road but it is one I am ready for. I will just set myself mini-targets and take them as they come along.
“It is gutting, but I will come back stronger.”