'The radiologist hadn't seen one in his career': Muscat reveals Honda's freak injury
Kevin Muscat admits he does not know when Keisuke Honda will be back in Hyundai A-League action after confirming the Melbourne Victory star has sustained a rare hamstring injury.
Honda missed Victory’s last two matches against Melbourne City and Wellington Phoenix with a myofascial strain – an injury which normally requires a seven to nine day turnaround.
Having erred on the side of ‘extreme caution’ for last Friday’s 1-1 draw with the Phoenix, Honda made a full recovery and trained with the Victory squad on Saturday, Monday and Tuesday.
But scans this week revealed the 32-year-old had suffered a 'freak' hamstring tear which will likely rule the midfielder out for at least a month.
“The radiologist hadn't seen one in his career. The leading physician that we spoke to, this is the second time in 30 years,” Muscat told media on Friday morning.
“So, it is a little bit of a freak in terms of where it is and we look into the biomechanics of the individual and everything that goes with it. That’s where we’re at.
“Initially you're not pleased about losing anybody but you quickly move on. 24 hours later, Keisuke is into his rehab and working diligently to get him back as soon as healthily possible.
“Having said that, we don't know when that's going to be because there's not as much data on this type of injury as there is on the other hamstring injuries because of the rare nature.
“I don't know what that time is.
“I understand the importance and I understand the interest because it is Keisuke, but we’ll treat it with the utmost caution as we do every person that’s through the change rooms.”
Honda is likely to miss a hectic January schedule for the reigning Hyundai A-League Champions, with Victory set for six matches including a crucial Big Blue clash with Sydney FC on Australia Day.
But instead of lamenting the loss of Victory’s star playmaker, Muscat insisted Honda’s absence would create opportunities for the rest of his squad.
Those chances should arrive as early as tomorrow night’s free-to-air fixture with Western Sydney Wanderers, with Raul Baena and Georg Niedermeier set to return to action at ANZ Stadium.
“It's disappointing to lose anybody to injury and the fact that Keisuke is now going to be out for a little period of time has been something that in the last few days we've been working towards,” Muscat said.
“It's an opportunity for us for individuals and in a busy period we look forward to that opportunity.
“Focus is on Western Sydney, a team that might turn up very desperate. We’ve got to prepare for that.”