Johansson ACL injury leaves AEK cursing their luck
AEK midfielder Jakob Johansson became a national hero for Sweden, scoring the only goal in the two World Cup playoff matches against Italy. However, his achievements have come at high price, as Johansson received a potentially season ending ACL injury during the second match in Milan.
The news creates a huge headache for AEK head coach Manolo Jimenez, who lost influential captain Petros Mantalos to the same injury a few weeks ago. Seventeen minutes into the second match against the Italians, Johansson fell to the floor clutching his left knee and was immediately transported to a Milan clinic. Sweden’s head doctor then phoned AEK later in the evening, stating that Johansson had sustained an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Johansson will be given crutches in order for his trip back to Athens, where he will be analysed by AEK’s medical team before he goes under the knife. After the operation, it will become clear when the Swede can return to the pitch, but it’s already certain that Johansson will not play again until the turn of the year (expected to be out at least six months).
It’s a massive blow for AEK, especially taking into account just how well the club begun the season. The Athens outfit are joint first in the Super League and are poised to qualify for the Europa League knockout stages, however stuttering form and unfortunate injuries have threatened to throw their campaign off course.
Following the completion of the Italy versus Sweden match, the Swedes celebrated their qualification for the 2018 World Cup by taking a photo with Johansson’s shirt. AEK are promised monetary compensation by FIFA for the injury, but it’s a scant reward for a team which barely has any midfielders left.