An unfortunate mishap in the last training session before the coronavirus shutdown has left Kingborough’s likeable Spanish recruit facing an expensive surgery.
An unfortunate mishap in the last training session before the coronavirus shutdown has left Kingborough’s likeable Spanish recruit facing an expensive surgery.

Injured Spanish soccer star stuck in Australia

SPANISH footballer Javier Verdu Sanchez's first foray into a semi-professional career in Tasmania didn't go the way he had planned.

Hailing from Valencia, the 25-year-old had been based in Oklahoma for the past four years where he studied and played at the Southwestern Christian University.

Eager to continue his soccer journey he contacted a friend in Tasmania and sent his highlights reel to Kingborough United, who signed the attacking midfielder.

Spanish footballer Javi Verdu Sanchez sustained a severe knee injury earlier in the year and is unable to get back home due to the border restrictions. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS
Spanish footballer Javi Verdu Sanchez sustained a severe knee injury earlier in the year and is unable to get back home due to the border restrictions. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS

Sanchez arrived just before Christmas and had impressed all with his skills and work ethic during the Summer Cup, only for the season to be shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Six hours before group trainings were put on hold the Lions held one last session - where Sanchez sustained a severe knee injury which requires a reconstruction.

Unable to return to his home country or leave the state due to the border restrictions, he is now forced to bide his time in Hobart, and is facing a surgery and rehabilitation program costing $12,500.

"This is the first time I have ever got an injury in my life, the four years of college football in Oklahoma I played every game, I think am the player with the most appearances in the program," Sanchez said.

"As soon as I turned my body, I heard a crack and started panicking, I lost my breath and I knew that something serious had happened.

"I don't like the fact I cannot go back home, obviously I am not living my best life right now.

"I know I would take care of myself better back home."

 

He is facing a surgery and rehabilitation program costing $12,500. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS
He is facing a surgery and rehabilitation program costing $12,500. Picture: ZAK SIMMONDS

Sanchez, who has an understanding of the road ahead having seen his brother rebound from a similar injury, is remaining upbeat while he waits to have his ACL repaired.

In an effort to help cover some of the costs Kingborough has organised a gofundme page, which has already seen a flood of support.

"Six hours before the lockdown this happens, he then couldn't leave the country, couldn't enter his own country, he was caught in the middle of it all," Lions president Brian Downes said.

"We are so grateful to everyone who has contributed, especially in these difficult circumstances.

"Javi is a very likeable person who fitted in with his teammates, and anyone that knows the game can see he knows how to play."

Anyone wishing to assist can donate at http://gf.me/u/xz9wjn.

 

Originally published as Injured Spanish soccer star stuck in Tassie



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