Harry Taffs, whose leg was broken in two places during the Albert Beer Memorial Shield match, hopes to be playing again by Christmas.
The tibia and fibula in the Torridgeside defender’s right leg snapped when he clashed with Rikki Williams, the Bideford midfielder, on Friday.
During a near five-hour operation on Saturday, surgeons inserted a metal rod and plate to knit the bones together.
“They said that to be back to where I was, playing with impact on it, would be six months,” said Taffs, from Torrington, who turns 21 on August 20.
“I’m not going to rush it but I will be trying to be back for Christmas.”
The injury was particularly untimely as Taffs was in line to start for Barnstaple Town in their opening Toolstation Western League match this weekend.
“I was really looking forward to it and I’m gutted I can’t play,” said Taffs. “It’s the first injury I’ve had that’s kept me out of football.”
Tom Bulley, the Barnstaple manager, said he will be looking to sign a new defender after losing Taffs.
“I wouldn’t like to say whether he would have started but he was certainly in contention for a start,” said Bulley.
“It’s unfortunate. I told him I was looking forward to having him as part of the team.
“Hopefully he will bounce back because he’s certainly got ability.”
Taffs was remarkably laid-back about the injury and took to Twitter while he was in the ambulance to say how much he would like a pint.
He tweeted: “Yessss! Thanks for the messages, I’m absolutely fine, just a bit nippy, in the ambulance on the way to hospital, cheers again #peace.”
After leaving hospital on Monday, Taffs said: “I don’t feel too bad at all, there’s not too much pain.
“I haven’t got a cast, they said the rod and plate should be enough to hold it together and they don’t want the leg to seize up. I’m trying to keep flexing it.
“Even when I was on the pitch it didn’t really hurt at all.It was only when they tried moving it at hospital that it started hurting.”
Taffs knows Williams and had no complaints about the challenge.
The Bideford midfielder suffered a less serious injury in the clash and played no further part in the game.