No further damage for Stefanovic

Michael Bailey Dejan Stefanovic has undergone his knee surgery and the news is good, according to Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder.The 34-year-old summer signing from Fulham suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury during the Canaries 2-2 draw with Preston earlier in the month but the full extent of the damage - and whether it could potentially end the Serbian's career - was only expected to become clear during the operation, carried out by leading knee surgeon Andy Williams.

Michael Bailey

Dejan Stefanovic has undergone his knee surgery and the news is good, according to Norwich City boss Glenn Roeder.

The 34-year-old summer signing from Fulham suffered a serious cruciate ligament injury during the Canaries 2-2 draw with Preston earlier in the month but the full extent of the damage - and whether it could potentially end the Serbian's career - was only expected to become clear during the operation, carried out by leading knee surgeon Andy Williams.

That procedure took place during the week and while still Stefanovic faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines, Roeder hopes the defender will be available for the start of next season.


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“The surgeon was very pleased with himself and said he did a good job, which I would expect Mr Williams to do,” said Roeder. “He's reported back that it was, for him, a simple anterior cruciate ligament repair that he's done hundreds of times, no other complications whatsoever.

“He then commented further to say he's looking inside his knee and for his age, his knee was pristine; it was in great shape. So he sees it now as, although he's out for the season, a straight forward rehab for the next nine months or so. That's a long time away but it will come around quickly and it was all positive stuff for Dejan.”

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The best part of the news for Roeder was the lack of any further damage than what was expected, reducing Stefanovic's rehabilitation time and ensuring the defending will be back playing in August. A different report could have seen the end of Stefanovic's professional playing days.

“As I said, had he found further damage - and further damage would've been similar to what Adam Drury had and needed repairing - it would've been a year out and then it would've been potentially the end of his career, because of the time of year getting towards Christmas and it's that bit further down the line,” added Roeder. “But what he's saying at the moment, nine months should have him training around preseason and if he's not absolutely fit for the start of the season, he'll be fit not long after.

“It's now really and truly in Dejan's hands, how motivated he's going to have to be to get back to the level of fitness that's required. Obviously I think it's a lot easier for a younger player with his career still in front of him but I think Dejan, since he's been here, has proved to be a model professional and he'll want to get back to exactly where he was before the injury and play for at least one or two seasons more.

“And then of course, hopefully when he retires, he's not even halfway through his life and there's a life outside football isn't there, where you don't want to be left a cripple, which he's obviously not going to be, but will lead a fully active life after football.”

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