PAOK’s Varela ruled out for at least a month with meniscus injury
Injured PAOK centre-back Fernando Varela has been ruled out for at least a month, while club captain Vieirinha had a successful return from his ACL injury in a practice match.
The Dikefalos tou Vorra will be without key central defender Varela for at least a month after he suffered a rupture to the outside of the meniscus in the 2-1 victory over Asteras Tripolis and will need to undergo surgery. It is expected that the 31-year old will miss the fixtures against Lamia, Volos and Panathinaikos, but should be fit to return in PAOK’s away clash at OFI.
The injury sustained by Varela opens the door for last season’s January signing Sverrir Ingason who has struggled for opportunities in Thessaloniki. Since joining the club, the Icelandic international has only featured twice in the Super League. Ingason has failed to consolidate a position in PAOK’s defence with former manager Razvan Lucescu and now current coach Abel Ferreira preferring both Fernando Varela and Jose Angel Crespo as their centre-back partnership. Nevertheless, Ferreira will give Ingason the opportunity to play alongside Crespo in the centre of defence while Varela is on the sidelines.
PAOK’s inspirational club captain Andre Vieirinha has returned from his devastating anterior cruciate ligament injury to play a practice match between the senior team and the under 19 side. It has been suggested that Vieirinha could be integrated into the first team in the next couple of weeks.