The gruesome setbacks behind Fenton's injury nightmare

Wellington Phoenix star Louis Fenton knew there was something up the moment pus started leaking out of his right foot.

Fenton, 26, has only just started running again after an injury nightmare, which left him hospitalised for almost a month while recovering from a broken foot he suffered against Newcastle Jets in March.

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A recovery time frame of 12 weeks was initially posted for the New Zealand international before he was plagued by a series of gruesome complications.

"My bones came through my foot and I had a compound fracture. I got a metal plate in and then that got infected," he said.

“The plan was to take the screws out in 12 weeks and after that the infection was still in my bones.

"I had two more operations after that and then there wasn’t enough skin to stitch up, so I just had to let it heal naturally and that’s why the process has dragged on.

“I was feeling sick pretty much straight after my surgery and I was probably sick for about 3-4 weeks, and then pus started leaking out of my foot. That sort of gave it away [that something was up].”

Fenton with Phoenix goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic at training last week

The complications left Fenton sidelined while his teammates old and new returned to training under new boss Ufuk Talay.

However, the defender – who has suffered a leg break and two shoulder dislocations during his football career – has taken the latest incident of injury misfortune in his stride.

Fenton is still yet to kick a ball but is back in ‘very light’ training which consists only of running.

“I’ve been here and done that before – I’m used to being injured,” he said.

“I’m eager to show the coach what I can do. The boys who have been playing have got the first chance but there’s enough games coming up for me to stake my claim.

“I’m definitely targeting round one to be fit and ready.”

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And what a time that would be for Fenton to make his comeback, with Phoenix welcoming Hyundai A-League newcomers Western United on October 13.

That clash will see ex-Wellington boss return to the Kiwi capital as Western United's inaugural coach, with former Phoenix stars Andrew Durante, Filip Kurto and Max Burgess in tow.

“Playing against a former coach and players adds a little bit… it would be nice to beat them!”

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Fenton was one of the Hyundai A-League's best fullbacks last season under the tutelage of Mark Rudan, now Western United coach