By Jason McKeown
Kyel Reid has in all probability played his last game for Bradford City, after the pacy winger was today ruled out with a cruciate ligament injury for between six and eight months. He was stretchered off at Bramall Lane on Saturday after a nasty challenge which required a lengthy delay of the game, as medical staff treated him. Out of contract in the summer, Reid faces the heart-breaking possibility of being thrust into unemployment and potentially fighting a huge battle to revive his career.
For player and club, this is an almighty blow. Without Reid, Phil Parkinson lacks a wideman with the threat to charge past defenders and put them on the back foot. Mark Yeates may be seen as the solution to fill the left wing spot for the rest of the season. Jordan Graham – on loan from Aston Villa and yet to be given any game-time – is another option, yet asking him to replace Reid could be a mightily big burden on some young shoulders. It remains to be seen if Parkinson looks to bring someone in; but with a salary cap to think about and other areas of the team needing strengthening, it won’t be a straightforward call.
Reid – who joined City the day that Parkinson became manager – has been part of the Valley Parade fabric for two-and-a-half years. He has experienced lengthy lay offs through injury in the past, and the team has often struggled badly without him. With the club’s dip in form seeing a worryingly reduction in the number of goalscoring opportunities created during matches, it is going be a huge task to replace Reid.
For sure, Reid’s form hasn’t been scintillating of late – he is in good company in that regard – but the threat he always offers has made him a constant fixture in the team this season since winning back his place in the team early doors.
Width of a Post wishes him a speedy recovery and hopes that he can at least progress in his recuperation between now and the expiration of his contract in May. Parkinson cannot afford to let sentiment decide any decision over what to do about his future in the summer – but for everything that Reid has done for the club, it would be horrible to see him exit in this way. Let us hope that Reid heals quickly, so he can be viewed as part of the club’s plans next season.
One thing is for sure, life at Valley Parade will be a lot duller without Reid’s presence on the pitch.