Central Coast Mariners duo Ahmad Elrich and Dean Heffernan will be forced to sit out lengthy spells on the sidelines due to serous injury.
Elrich suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament in the Mariners win over Queensland Roar on Sunday and will face up to six months out of the game. It is a major loss for the club and the former Fulham player was disappointed but positive about his latest setback.
“Personally, it’s obviously a devastating blow for me, especially considering how fit I was feeling and how much progress I had made throughout the pre-season and the early part of the Hyundai A-League season.
“However, it’s good that I know exactly what I’m dealing with as I’ve been through this exact procedure before and I’ve come back from it – I know that I’ll come back again.
“Now, the hard work starts for me in terms of looking after myself during this long break and taking the careful steps to get back to where I was only recently and I know that with the help of the Mariners, my team mates and with my family close by, I can return to my best and hopefully contribute in some way to our AFC Champions League campaign.”
Meanwhile, Dean Heffernan’s broken leg complications have flared and he is back in plaster for a further three weeks.
Heffernan sustained the injury in December last year and is hoping to be back in the mix by November, about half-way through the A-League season.
Although the situation is not ideal, Heffernan was relieved to have pinpointed the problem.
“It’s great to have located a current problem and to now be on the right track to putting this injury behind me for good.
“I’ve maintained a good level of general fitness throughout my rehabilitation and I’m confident that upon commencing light training I’ll be in a position to put my hand up for selection soon after and it goes without saying that I’m itching to get back onto the pitch and contribute to the new season.”
The Mariners, along with the rest of the A-League clubs, do not have a match this weekend due to a FIFA match day break, but will be back in action on the 14th September against Wellington Phoenix away.