HONG KONG, CHINA - Saturday, July 22, 2017: Crystal Palace's Martin Kelly during the Premier League Asia Trophy match between West Bromwich Albion and Crystal Palace at the Hong Kong International Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Former Liverpool defender “broken” by serious injury on Man of the Match debut

It was a rollercoaster debut for one former Liverpool defender in the Championship, who was Man of the Match but suffered a serious injury.

One of 11 ex-Reds who made moves in the January transfer window, Martin Kelly swapped West Brom for Wigan on loan for the remainder of the campaign.

Unfortunately, there are now fears he has played his first and last game for the Latics, after suffering a worrying knee injury off the ball in Monday’s 0-0 draw at Blackburn.

The 32-year-old had produced a stellar display on his debut, with a series of timely interventions and one vital tackle to stop Bradley Dack from scoring, and he even saw a goal disallowed at the other end.

But after 75 minutes he was forced off and replaced by another former Liverpool player, Steven Caulker, having caught his studs in the turf.

Kelly’s left knee twisted badly and he was already in a brace after the game, when he picked up his Man of the Match award from the EFL.

“I’m a broken man, devastated is an understatement,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The boys will build on a good performance. Thanks for the support and appreciation out there.”

The stalemate was manager Shaun Maloney’s first in charge, having replaced another ex-Liverpool defender, Kolo Toure, at the end of January.

Providing an update on Kelly’s injury, as reported by the Wigan Observer, Maloney described the situation as “devastating,” seeming to cast doubt over his continued involvement.

“I thought he was brilliant, I thought he was very brave in possession, and out of possession as well,” said the Latics boss.

“The challenge he made was a goal-saving, match-saving.

“His injury doesn’t look good, it doesn’t look good at all. I hope that changes in the next few days, but I’m devastated for him.

“We brought him in as a leader off the pitch, as much as what he can bring on the pitch.

“He’s been brilliant with us while he’s been here, and we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, January 5, 2014: Liverpool's Martin Kelly in action against Oldham Athletic during the FA Cup 3rd Round match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Kelly came through the academy at Liverpool before making his first-team debut against PSV Eindhoven in 2008, going on to make 62 appearances for the club.

He then joined Crystal Palace in 2014, spending eight years at Selhurst Park before heading to West Brom on a free transfer last year.

Liverpool midfielder Tyler Morton came off the bench for Blackburn in the 0-0 draw with Wigan, having been named as a substitute for a second successive game.