Muscat injury blow for Victory
Melbourne Victory will be without captain Kevin Muscat for between four and six weeks, after he tore a hamstring in the 2-0 defeat by Central Coast Mariners last Thursday. Scans have confirmed the veteran defender has a small tear in his left hamstring, an injury that is likely to keep him sidelined for, at least, his side's next three games.
"Kevin was scanned late yesterday afternoon. Our medical guys have met and reviewed the pictures and we can confirm he has a small tear in his left hamstring," said Victory football operations manager Gary Cole.
"This is a new injury, similar to last year, where he had a small tear in the-pre-season, and he recovered to play every minute of every game." Cole said that while losing Muscat was a setback so early in the season, he is confident the team can cover the loss.
"It's not something that overly concerns us, we expect him to be out for around four to six weeks. Hopefully he'll be back for the Newcastle game in Melbourne (on 3 September)," he added. "We just look forward to being the same. Kevin, having the same leadership role with the club, adds such great value to the team on or off the field."
Muscat, who turned 36 last Friday, is, however, targeting a much swifter return. "I would have preferred not to have the injury but it's happened now, and all I can do is give all my efforts into getting the rehab done and getting back as soon as possible," he said.
"I'm pretty confident that doing the rehab and giving it 100 per cent, that I'll come back and have an influence on the majority of the season. I'm hoping to come back a lot sooner than that but I've obviously got to do my rehab. I've got full confidence in my medical staff here, and last season I had a hamstring tear and missed four weeks and played every game after that."
Muscat signed a one-year contract extension earlier this year and rebuffed suggestions this latest setback was proof he should have called it a day. "People have had their opinion on whether I should have retired or not," he added.
"I've consulted the people whose opinion I respect. I maintain I've made the right decision. I'll get the rehab done and can't wait to have an input for the remainder of the season."
Melbourne have ruled out signing a short-term replacement for Muscat, but Cole confirmed the club are looking at bringing in another forward to fill the void left by Jose Luis Lopez's departure.