MICHAEL WAIT confessed Luke Howell was fortunate to escape serious injury from the horror tackle which finished his loan spell with Lincoln City.
The Imps physio was the first man on the scene to tend to the MK Dons midfielder, who was the subject of a reckless challenge from Scott Brown in Saturday's 2-1 win at Morecambe.
Howell needed to be carried off on a stretcher following the incident and later required eight stitches to seal up a nasty gash around his ankle.
Wait says the 23-year-old could be out for three to four weeks, but maintains that is a positive compared to what could have happened.
"Luke was quite fortunate because had his foot been planted, and not in the air when the challenge came in, then there was the potential he could have broken or snapped something," he said.
"The first priority for me was to calm him down and talk to him to ascertain what the problem was because you can't start grabbing knees or ankles.
"After speaking to Luke, he was able to tell me what the problem was and it was pretty clear from looking at his injury that he was not able to continue.
"The gash was a bad one and it was quickly apparent that he would require stitches. He's gone back to MK Dons now, but he'll go for an X-ray as well just as a precaution.
"I would say it will be around three to four weeks before he's training again because even though it's a cut, it's still going to be very sore.
"But the positive, if there is a positive to be had, is that it could have been worse."
Brown's tackle went unpunished by the referee in a year which has become dominated by debates over reckless challenges.
Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey and England striker Bobby Zamora both had to undergo surgery following tackles and Wolves' Karl Henry was rapped for a nasty challenge on Wigan's Jordi Gomez.
Physios have never been more important in today's game, although Wait believes tackling is a fundamental part of football.
"I would have to see the challenge on Luke again to deem whether it was a bad one or not," he said.
"But at the end of the day, physios are probably more concerned about the players who go in for tackles who are not fully committed.
"That is usually when the serious injuries occur.
"But as for tackling as a whole, I know it's been a hot topic, but it is an art and actually a key aspect of the game.
"There's nothing that gets a team going more or sparks the fans into life when somebody wins the ball with a good tackle."
Meanwhile, Wait has refused to put a timescale on Adam Watts' comeback with the defender still recovering from an Achilles injury.
The defender missed Saturday's game and Wait says giving an exact date for his return would be wrong.
"The problem with Adam and the Achilles injury that he has, is it can actually feel okay during a game, but the day after it can feel sore," he said.
"If you keep trying to play, then the sorer it will become. So with Adam we've just got to see how he is and we are just taking it on a day to day basis at the moment."