Newcastle Jets today confirmed the unfortunate news that passionate attacker Labinot Haliti will spend an extended spell on the sidelines through injury.
Speaking at his pre-match press opportunity ahead of the Jets’ clash with Melbourne Victory at Hunter Stadium on Friday night, Newcastle Head Coach Scott Miller told reporters that Haliti had suffered an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injury early in last weekend’s narrow defeat to Sydney FC.
Haliti received an initial scan on Monday before getting a second opinion on Tuesday.
Lamentably, the results came back the same.
“We are very disappointed for Labi,” Miller said. “He will be out until the end of the season.”
“Structurally when it was tested on the pitch it suggested it wasn’t too severe, but on reflection the specialists have suggested that he will need an ACL reconstruction.”
“Labi is bitterly disappointed but he recognises that he will be back for pre-season and he is wiling to work hard.”
“It is important that Labi is around the group still because he is a great character to have around and he is still going to play a part with this season.”
“Not only is he [Haliti] a great person, but he adds the extra quality to us as well,” Miller said.
Today Haliti told www.NewcastleJets.com.au that his disappointment to miss season 11 of the Hyundai A-League is more for the team and fans, than himself.
“The team and the fans have given me everything,” Haliti said. “So the things that bother me is not being able to help the team, and not being able to play for the fans.”
“I had a good pre-season and I was enjoying my time back in Newcastle.”
“The fans welcomed me back with open arms.”
“I am close with all the players and I will remain as close to them as I can during my rehabilitation.”
“Unfortunately sometimes you have to be there to support them in a different way," he said.