Stefanovic is on the mend
Dejan Stefanovic's career has effectively been saved after a successful operation on his knee.The 34-year-old went under the knife on Thursday after sustaining knee ligament damage in the home draw with Preston earlier this month.
Dejan Stefanovic's career has effectively been saved after a successful operation on his knee.
The 34-year-old went under the knife on Thursday after sustaining knee ligament damage in the home draw with Preston earlier this month.
And the report of surgeon Andy Williams has allayed fears that Stefanovic suffered further damage which would have seen him sidelined for around a year.
Instead, the conclusion is that he will be out for nine months, should be training next summer and could be back for the opening game 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 and he has reported back that it was, for him, a simple ACL - anterior cruciate ligament - repair that he has done hundreds of times," said manager Glenn Roeder.
"No other complications whatsoever and he actually then commented further to say looking inside his knee, for his age, it was pristine, in great shape, so he sees it now that although he is out for the season, a straight forward rehab for the next nine months or so.
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"That's a long time away and it will come round quickly, but it is all positive stuff for Dejan."
Stefanovic was a summer purchase from Fulham, signing a two-year contract, with Roeder hoping his experience would meld together the City defence.
But the fears that he had suffered similar damage to Adam Drury, which would have taken him out of the game for at least a year - and at 34 years of age put a major question mark over him continuing his career.
"Then it would have been potentially the end of his career, because it's this time next year, getting towards Christmas and it's that little bit further down the line," Roeder added.
"What he's saying at the moment is nine months should have him training around pre-season and if he's not absolutely fit for the start of the season he will be fit not long after.
"It is now really and truly in Dejan's hands how motivated he is going to have to be to get back to the level of fitness that is required.
"It would be a lot easier for a younger player with his career still in front of him.
"Dejan, since he has been here, has proved to be a model professional and I think he'll want to get back to exactly where he was before the injury and play for at least one or two seasons more.
"Then of course when he retires he is not even halfway through his life and there is a life without football when you don't want to be left a cripple, which he is obviously not going to be. He will be able to have a full and active life."