West Bromwich Albion‘s Ben Foster missed Monday’s 1-1 draw with Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, and for the first-choice shot-stopper, the reason for his absence was hardly of the garden variety.
Well, that’s not exactly true after Baggies boss Tony Pulis confirmed post-match that the eight-time capped English international did not suit up after injuring his knee whilst playing in the garden with his son.
“He was playing with his son in the back garden and he just tweaked his knee and because he’s had the cruciate we are a little bit concerned,” Pulis told BBC Sport.
After Foster spent 10 months on the treatment table in 2015 after damaging cruciate knee ligaments, Pulis added that prevention was the priority, saying, “There was no way in a million years we were going to take the risk with him tonight.”
Boaz Myhill started in Foster’s stead, and West Brom’s predicament nearly became a disaster after the Welsh international’s collision with Jamie Vardy on the edge of the penalty area saw the netminding deputy suffer a leg concern. Noticeably hobbling, Myhill was forced to hand off goal-kick duties.
Pulis’ only other option was 21-year-old Alex Palmer. Considering the 21-year-old’s only other first-team experience came during a 2015-16 loan spell with non-league Kidderminster Harriers, it could have been far worse for Pulis and Co.
“We only have two experienced goalkeepers so we are a little bit short,” Pulis added.
Foster has been the Baggies’ first-choice ‘keeper since joining the Hawthorns inhabitant in 2012 from Birmingham City, making no fewer than 24 league starts save for that injury-plagued 2015-16 campaign.