Hibs star Sean Welsh wins fight for his sight

A HIBS footballer left with a broken cheekbone in a training ground bust-up is recovering after beating an infection which threatened his eyesight.

There were fears for the future career of 21-year-old Sean Welsh when he fell ill after surgery at St John's Hospital in Livingston.

He needed the procedure after a training ground flare-up with team-mate Martin Scott left him with a broken cheekbone.

Fans were concerned when rumours emerged online about the Lochend man's health following "complications", including that he could have lost his eyesight.

However, he is understood to have beaten the infection and been released from hospital.

He will now recuperate at home before returning to first team training with the Easter Road club, who are holding their own investigation following the incident last month.

Both Hibs and the health board refused to go into detail about the surgery and its complications but a source told the Evening News he was now expected to make a full recovery.

He said: "He picked up an infection after the operation, as can happen with these things.

"There were worries about his eyesight at one point, but that's not a concern any more.

"He's been let home and they're expecting him back at training."

Hibs messageboards were full of rumours about the surgery, with some worried he would be unable to return to football professionally.

The midfielder, who has spent time on loan at Stirling Albion and Stenhousemuir, has had numerous injuries in his short career.

When he suffered an injury at the beginning of last season even club management, including then manager John Hughes, bemoaned his bad luck.

That did not stop him being offered a new one-year deal in May, giving him one last chance to prove his fitness and establish himself in the first team, like so many of his contemporaries – including Callum Booth and David Wotherspoon – have been able to do.

Then, during a "boot camp" pre-season stay in the Borders, which was designed to build unity in the squad, he was floored by a punch by fellow midfielder Scott.

He was told he needed surgery, meaning he would miss at least the next eight weeks, prompting disbelief among supporters at how unlucky the player was.

One supporter wrote on a club forum: "Hope Welsh gets the quickest recovery possible.

"All his injuries have been such a shame as he is a good player and could have finally been able to start his career in the first team."

A club spokesman said: "A member of our first team squad was in hospital for a planned procedure and is expected to return home shortly."

NHS Lothian said it was unable to comment because of patient confidentiality.