Walsall FC have agreed to exercise the option to extend young defender Kory Roberts’ contract by a further year.
The 20-year-old has made 28 first-team appearances since progressing through the Saddlers’ youth ranks, winning the 2017/18 Young Player of the Season award.
The Birmingham-born centre-back is currently recovering from the double leg break he suffered in pre-season against Stoke.
And with his previous deal set to expire next summer, boss Dean Keates wanted to give him the security of a new contract to enable him to focus fully on his rehabilitation.
“As soon as the incident happened, I found out about the clause in his contract and wanted to make sure we had something in place for next season,” Keates commented.
“It was agreed then that we could active the clause.
“It was important for the lad psychologically. We didn’t want him having anything else to worry about this season.
“I am told we could possibly have him back at the end of the season.
“But I've said to Kory: ‘forget about this season, just make sure you are ready for when you come back for pre-season.’
"That gives him an extra few months.
“He is progressing really well and comes in a couple of days a week. We are happy with how it’s going.
“Marc Czuczman [physio] is really happy with where he is. He is back and forward from the fracture clinic and is seeing specialists.
“It’s going well. It was a terrible accident for the lad. He had a massive part to play this season.
“On the mental side, it has been hard, he has had dark days. But as a football club we are here to support him and make sure it doesn’t affect him too much.
“This contract has hopefully been a weight off his mind. It was important he didn’t have anything to worry about.”