No rest for Mantalos

No rest for Mantalos

AEK players were given a rest day early this week and had a rare chance to rest up prior to the game of the season with PAOK on Sunday, however one player who continued his training as normal at the training ground in Spata, was injured captain Petros Mantalos.

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The AEK and Greece player has taken his rehabilitation very seriously after a serious ACL injury in late October at Nea Smirni against Panionios. In that game, he actually created the winning goal, but paid the ultimate price with a lengthy knee injury.

Mantalos could have also taken the rest day but chose to continue the individual rehabilitation programme of which has seen him working the night shift too, to regain his fitness and ligament strength. It has been reported he may even get a match or two in at the end of the season, even if this is a long shot.

No doubt, Petros does not want his momentum to go and up until his injury, he was staring for AEK. The club is experiencing one of its strongest seasons in 10 years, when they could have won the championship, and as it is now, they are in pole position to win their first league title since 1994. AEK were also unlucky to be knocked out of Europe by Dynamo Kyiv, despite being the better team. One wonders if Mantalos could have been a game changer over the two legs if he were available.

The attacking midfielder was also a regular for the Greek National Team, despite a costly miss in an away match against Bosnia. He would be keen to get in the mix for the new chapter in the team’s path as they warm to the new UEFA Nations League later in 2018.

by Greg Gavalas
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