Stefanovic set to miss rest of season
David Cuffley Norwich City tonight suffered a massive blow with the news that defender Dejan Stefanovic looks certain to miss the rest of the season with knee ligament damage.
Norwich City tonight suffered a massive blow with the news that defender Dejan Stefanovic looks certain to miss the rest of the season with knee ligament damage.
The 34-year-old Serbian centre-half was stretchered off after just nine minutes of Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to Preston.
Scans revealed that Stefanovic has ruptured cruciate knee ligaments and he will have an operation within the next two weeks.
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Manager Glenn Roeder said: “Sadly the news surrounding Dejan is more serious than we first thought. This is clearly a long-term injury and a massive blow to the club and Dejan personally.
“He has been to see a specialist and had a scan and unfortunately, he has ruptured cruciate knee ligaments.
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“Until the surgeon has completed the operation it's difficult to assess how long he will be out for, but obviously with this kind of injury you are talking about a lengthy delay.”
Stefanovic has made 12 appearances since his summer move from Fulham. He was sent off in the 2-0 defeat at Southampton and served a two-match ban, but has played in four of the last five matches.
Such a major injury is bad news for a player of his age, and will inevitably cast doubt over his long-term prospects, as well as leaving the cash-strapped Canaries short of defensive cover.
Two of this season's loan defenders, Middlesbrough's Jonathan Grounds and Tottenham's Troy Archibald-Henville, have returned to their respective clubs. Archibald-Henville could be recalled if required but Roeder revealed at City's annual meeting on Tuesday that he did not believe the 20-year-old was ready for Championship football.
Stefanovic - with 20 international caps for Yugoslavia, later Serbia and Montenegro - previously played in England for Sheffield Wednesday and Portsmouth. He joined Fulham in 2007 but moved after one season, signing a two-year deal with the Canaries in July.
Gary Doherty and John Kennedy are likely to continue their centre-back partnership in Saturday's Championship game at home to Swansea.
However, striker Antoine Sibierski is out of the Swansea game with a knee injury. He is expected to be fit for the trip to Nottingham Forest on November 22.
With midfielder Darel Russell starting a three-match ban for his red card against Preston, Roeder will be forced to make at least three changes to last Saturday's starting line-up.