Paul Mullin went down with an injury 12 minutes into Wrexham’s match with Manchester United. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)
Wrexham’s preseason friendly with Manchester United proved costly.
While the professional soccer club owned by American actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney beat United, 3-1, in San Diego on Tuesday, Wrexham lost star striker Paul Mullin for at least the start of the EFL League Two season because of a punctured lung.
Mullin, 28, suffered the injury when he collided with United backup goalkeeper Nathan Bishop just outside the penalty box 12 minutes into the game. The hit knocked Mullin to the ground, where he laid for the next seven minutes before he was subbed for Billy Waters. Mullin did walk off the field under his own power, but was in noticeable pain, had to be given oxygen and was seen holding his side.
Bishop was issued just a yellow card for his transgression, which infuriated Wrexham manager Paul Parkinson.
Mullin later tweeted a photo of himself from a San Diego hospital on the team’s official X account, the social media website formerly known as Twitter.
Bishop later tweeted an apology for the injury Mullin suffered.
The injury could prove costly for Wrexham, which was just promoted to the fourth tier of English professional soccer for the first time in 15 years. Mullin is the team’s star — he’s scored 64 goals in 84 appearances over the past two years for Wrexham under Reynolds’ and McElhenney’s ownership. He was also one of the focal points of the first season of FX’s documentary show, “Welcome to Wrexham.”
The Welsh club plays another preseason friendly in the United States on Friday against MLS’ Philadelphia Union before it returns to the United Kingdom and opens its League Two season against MK Dons on Aug. 5. That turnaround doesn’t give Mullin time to return, especially from an lung injury.
“We’ve no idea, as yet, as to how long it will be,” Parkinson said. “He’s out for the start of the season. If you have a punctured lung and only 10 days to get fit, you have to say that’s that.
“We all stick together and will give Paul every bit of support we can to help him get back. One thing about Mulls is he is tough.
“Losing a key player is a blow. But injuries are part and parcel of football. We’ve dealt with blows before and we will deal with this one.”
Reynolds also tweeted his appreciation for Mullin and hope for a speedy recovery.
Parkinson insinuated backup striker Waters, who entered for Mullin on Tuesday, would play in Mullin’s stead alongside Ollie Palmer.