Purches: It was like being hit by a bus!

ORIENT skipper Stephen Purches hopes to be back playing in a couple of weeks, despite suffering a fractured cheekbone at Stockport on Saturday, writes TREVOR DAVIES. The defender is due to have surgery on the injury today (Thursday), but is hopeful he wil

ORIENT skipper Stephen Purches hopes to be back playing in a couple of weeks, despite suffering a fractured cheekbone at Stockport on Saturday, writes TREVOR DAVIES.

The defender is due to have surgery on the injury today (Thursday), but is hopeful he will be able to play in a mask and could be back training next week.

Purches suffered the injury early in the game at Stockport, following a collision with defender Michael Rose.

The O's skipper admitted this week: "It really did hurt, I wasn't expecting it when I slid in. I felt as if I had been hit by a bus."


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Purches was taken by ambulance to a Stockport hospital, where x-rays confirmed he had fractured his cheekbone, but he was allowed home on Saturday evening.

The 29-year-old defender saw a surgeon on Monday and will have an operation to pull out the cheekbone and help free up his jaw.

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Purches will also be measured up for a special mask and said: "I'll be in hospital a couple of days, but hopefully, with the mask, I won't miss many games.

"I'll just have to get used to wearing it but, if I feel okay, I may even be able to train next week. It all depends how I feel.

"At the moment, I'm not great. I keep feeling dizzy. I suppose it's like having a constant hangover."

As Purches prepares for his operation today, Orient manager Geraint Williams will be looking to move into the loan market to strengthen his squad.

With Adam Chambers ruled out with a recurrence of his calf trouble and midfield partner Sean Thornton missing with a knee injury, the problems are starting to mount.

Loan signing Kristian O'Leary, is also sidelined with a knee problem.

Without Thornton and Chambers, the likely first choice duo to play in the centre of midfield, it's an area Williams will want to strengthen.

Thornton played in the first three league games of the season, before suffering a knee injury in the closing stages of the 2-1 defeat by Charlton Athletic and has since undergone surgery. It's likely that he's still two or three weeks away from a return, while Chambers has played precious little football since last March.

Since then, he's been dogged by a calf injury and has made just two starts this term against Southend and Exeter, but failed to re-appear for the second half of the game against the Grecians.

With his calf problem on-going, Chambers seems unlikely to return for Saturday's London derby with Millwall.

Williams will be working hard this week to restore the confidence in the camp.

Without a league win since their success at Bristol Rovers on the opening day of the season, O's dropped into the bottom four at the weekend, following their 2-1 defeat at Edgeley Park.

Orient have now gone eight games without a win and the boss believes that with confidence eroding, it has started to affect the players' ability to express themselves.

"We looked short of confidence, especially in the second half," admitted Williams after the Stockport game.

"Earlier in the season we looked comfortable on the ball and passed it well, but that wasn't the case and that can only be down to confidence. The sooner we do get back on the winning trail that will return."

The O's boss added: "Goals change games and from our point of view we didn't do enough going forward until the last 20 minutes, when we suddenly picked the tempo up - but it should have been there from the first minute."

As Williams suggests, it's important Orient return to winning ways quickly.

O's will be looking to end a run of six home games in the league without a win, which stretches back to their 2-1 success against Colchester last April, when they face Millwall on Saturday.

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