But less than an hour into the session the Solihull student found herself on the sidelines nursing a broken hand!

“I just couldn’t believe it – I got my hand trapped under my body and could tell immediately that something was wrong. I’d been so excited about being called up to the training camp and there I was on the sidelines with a broken hand – not an ideal injury for a goalkeeper!

“The next morning my hand had swollen up to the size of a tennis ball and was completely black and blue,” said Phoebe, a student at Solihull Sixth Form College.

Now a member of the Aston Villa Development Squad Phoebe is back in goalkeeping action thanks to local hand surgeon Mr Gunaratnam Shyamalan (Shyam).

“An X-ray showed I had not only fractured my 3rd and 4th metacarpals but that the middle metacarpal was actually digging into my palm – I was going to need surgery if my hand was to recover,” she explained.

Mr Shyam, an orthopaedic surgeon specialising in hand, wrist and elbow injuries, at Spire Parkway and Little Aston Hospitals explained:  “Phoebe had a painful ‘mobile fracture’ which moved every time she bent her fingers.

“One of her metacarpals had broken and the bone had shortened. As a goalkeeper she needs her hand function to be perfect so we made the decision to operate.

“She was wide awake throughout surgery as I needed her to keep moving her hand until I could place the bone back in perfect position. It was then a case of applying very small, low profile, light-weight titanium plates and screws to hold the broken bones in place.

“After that it was just a case of waiting for the hand to mend so that Phoebe could get back to her goal-keeping.”


As for Phoebe, she said: “Obviously because it was a hand injury I was worried about my goalkeeping future but Mr Shyam always seemed confident I would make a full recovery.

“Now I’m back between the posts and hoping for some great results – both on the football field with Villa and in the classroom!”

What our patients say