AFC Sudbury goalkeeper Paul Walker set to undergo surgery on extensive facial injuries
The partner of AFC Sudbury goalkeeper Paul Walker has revealed the damage he sustained in a collision in the FA Cup match at Stamford AFC last month is 'worse than first feared' and will require surgery.
The former Northampton Town professional – who has won the Isthmian League club's supporters' and players' awards for each of his three years at Sudbury – has his operation on Monday's list and will require metal plates and pins to be inserted.
"Paul does require surgery on his cheek bone and eye socket. This is taking place on Monday," his partner Victoria Smith told Suffolk News.
"Unfortunately it appears more damage was done than we first thought so he will require metal plates and pins."
Asked if he might be able to return to playing again before the end of the season, she said: "We have no idea at this stage, will be a lengthy recovery."
With the injury leaving him unable to work as a football coach for a while, AFC Sudbury staff set up a Just Giving page to help the family with the financial losses.
It had a target of £500 which was passed in less than 24 hours of it being posted to social media and closed on £1,810 from 83 supporters.
Walker himself said: "I am overwhelmed with the support and messages I have received.
"I would like to thank everyone who has donated, it will really help us as a family in the coming weeks while I am recovering from my operation.
"A special thank you goes to Dave Cannon, Kevin Holland and Josh Harvey at AFC Sudbury for all their support in the last couple of weeks."
Sudbury have brought back their former academy keeper Luca Collins on a permanent transfer from Heybridge Swifts to cover his absence.