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DUNDEE UNITED star Jamie Fullarton was just minutes away from losing his foot, according to the doctor who treated his horror leg break.

Club doctor Derek McCormack has revealed that Fullarton's sickening injury against Kilmarnock was so serious that amputation would have been needed if emergency treatment had not been taken while the stricken player lay on the Tannadice pitch.

Fullarton is recovering in hospital from the fractured and dislocated ankle that has ended his season, but the United medics' actions have probably saved the 25-year-old midfielder's career.

Doctor McCormack revealed that Fullarton's foot turned blue as he was being treated following a tackle with Kilmarnock's James Fowler, indicating that the blood supply to his foot had been cut off.

The severe twist that turned his ankle through 90 degrees meant McCormack, physiotherapist David Rankine and the team of paramedics had to perform emergency treatment on the pitch rather than wait until Fullarton reached hospital.

Fullarton's screams could be heard around the Tannadice ground as he was treated for almost 10 minutes on the pitch, but Doctor McCormack explained:

"The ankle had fractured and come out of the joint. It had also rotated, which in itself is a serious injury. While I was assessing Jamie, his foot turned blue, which indicated the blood supply was compromised which is a very serious complication.

"Strong painkillers were given by the paramedics and I had to try and manipulate the fracture there and then in an attempt to restore the blood supply.

"If it had not been restored, he could have lost his foot within minutes. It is a situation I have done in hospital accident and emergency many times but never on a football pitch in ten years as a doctor.

"It was a very painful procedure. It is not like Jamie was under general anesthetic as he would be in hospital, but it was very essential. I don't think Jamie was aware, though, of what we were doing."

Doctor McCormack does not expect to see Fullarton playing a gain this season.

"It will be a long rehabilitation process, the rest of the season, but hopefully he will make a good recovery."

To read Fullerton out for season, click here.