Reece Flanagan: Walsall midfielder dislocates shoulder on return from injury
Walsall midfielder Reece Flanagan has been ruled out for the rest of the season after dislocating his shoulder in his first game since recovering from a knee injury.
Flanagan, 22, has not played this season after tearing his anterior cruciate knee ligament in April.
But, playing for the Saddlers' development squad at Morecambe on Wednesday, he dislocated his shoulder.
"He's seeing a specialist, as he's done it before," said boss Jon Whitney.
"It's a bit of a dampener, but he's in good spirits as at least he wasn't his knee. When I saw him go down, I thought maybe it was his knee. But this might be a mixed blessing because it now gives him a bit longer with his knee.
"He won't be back this season but he'll still be fit and contracted for next season, and it gives him the chance to come back even stronger."
Flanagan, who has made 35 appearances for the Saddlers, signed a new contract in December, tying him to the League One club until June 2018.
McCarthy wins League One player of the month
On a more positive note for Walsall, on-loan defender Jason McCarthy has been voted League One player of the month for January.
The 21-year-old Southampton centre-back has made 30 league appearances, scoring five times.
He has been a key part of a Walsall side who have now lost just once in nine games under Whitney to move up to 11th, within four points of the play-offs.
Having gone five games unbeaten with an unchanged line-up, Saturday's 2-1 victory over Northampton Town earned them a third straight home win for the first time since December 2015.