BY manager Richard Hill’s own admission, Eastleigh fans have yet to see the very best of their 22-year-old midfielder/defender Will Evans.
But at least now he knows why.
After seeking a second opinion from a good friend, Hill has been advised that Evans has never fully recovered from the pre-season knee injury that sidelined him for the first five weeks of the Skrill Conference South campaign.
“I took Will to see a friend of mine whose forte is knees,” Hill explained.
“He’s the ex-Wycombe Wanderers physio Dave Jones whose knowledge of knees is second to none in this country. “He spent half an hour putting Will through rigorous tests and, even with my untrained eye, I could see that he’s got a very, very weak knee.
“Evidently his rehab has not been done correctly and he’s now doing a lot of work to strengthen it.
“We’ve got to wait a couple of weeks and see if he’s in a position to go back into training and then start playing games again.”
Born in Cricklade, Wiltshire, Evans progressed through Swindon Town’s Centre of Excellence before signing a professional contract in April 2010.
He captained the Robins’ youth and reserve sides and made his first-team debut in a 3-0 JPT victory at Saints in August 2010. He joined Hereford United on a free transfer in January 2012 after spending three months on loan with the Bulls. Then, having been loaned out again to Newport County, he was released by Hereford at the end of last season and subsequently joined Eastleigh.
Prior to getting injured, the 6ft 2in utility man impressed in pre-season and shone again on his return.
But he has taken a bit of flak from fans of late and Hill knew there had to be a good explanation behind his flagging form.
“Will played some good games earlier in the season at centre-half and right-back and, having known him all these years, I knew there was a reason why he wasn’t playing as well as he can,” said the boss.
“There had to be something else behind it, I knew it couldn’t be that simple.
“Now it seems that every time the weight was shifting onto that knee, his reaction time was slower because the knee’s so weak.
“We’ve been without the real Will Evans for most of the season and that’s all to do with the injury.
“It’s no one’s fault, but the rehab he was doing wasn’t right for him.
“Hopefully this strengthening programme will sort him out and he’ll be in a position to come back to training.”