A-League injury puts Damien Duff’s return to League of Ireland in doubt

Sources in Ireland close to Damien Duff have cautioned that it is too soon to assess the long-term implications of the apparently serious injury he suffered at the weekend while playing in the Australian A-League.

A-League injury puts Damien Duff’s return to League of Ireland in doubt

Fears have been expressed that the reported ‘double injury’ will not only rule him out for the remainder of the season but may even bring his playing days to an end.

The former Ireland international and Chelsea and Blackburn Rovers winger sustained the injury in a tackle in Melbourne City’s game against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, which forced the Dubliner out of the action after just eight minutes.

The initial assessment was that Duff had suffered ankle ligament damage but a further scan yesterday indicated he had also ruptured a tendon in his calf, leading to reports that, at the very least, the former Ireland international would miss the remainder of the A-League season, which concludes in May.

Given his age, 35, concern was also expressed that the double-injury might even prove career-ending for Duff, a player who has often spoken about his desire to end his career on home soil in the League of Ireland.

City coach John van’t Schip said after the game: “It doesn’t look too good. He said he felt something snap and then couldn’t walk or put pressure on it. That’s not a good sign.”

Meanwhile, in further bad news for Irish footballers Down Under, Perth Glory striker Andy Keogh faces disciplinary action by his club after he and a team-mate were arrested in Adelaide on Sunday night.

Keogh was first fined for disorderly behaviour and then arrested after allegedly refusing to obey police instructions to leave the area outside a nightclub.

His team-mate, defender Josh Ridson, was also arrested. Both men are expected to appear before Adelaide Magistrates’ Court next month.

Following the incident, which occurred after current table-toppers Perth had earlier played out a 1-1 draw with Adelaide United in the A-League, Keogh’s club issued a strong condemnation of the pair’s behaviour.

Chief executive Jason Brewer said: “The players have apologised to the playing group and in due course will be making an apology to our fan base for their indiscretion.

“The players admit the situation has embarrassed them, their team-mates and our fans and they are accepting full responsibility for their poor behaviour.”

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