FC Pune City suffered a double blow ahead of the third season of the Indian Super League as their marquee player Eidur Gudjohnsen and Cameroonian midfielder Andre Bikey have both been ruled out of the tournament due to injuries.
The 38 year-old Iceland international, who has played for top sides likes Chelsea and FC Barcelona, picked up an ankle injury in his left leg according to a statement released by FC Pune City. Meanwhile Andre Bikey, who has played for the likes of Reading and Burnley suffered an injury on his left thigh.
"What was an exciting start to my new journey in India with FC Pune City, has come to an abrupt end unfortunately. Just a few days back, on my left ankle, what I thought was a niggle, turned out to be more than that. After getting it checked and having multiple opinions, I have been advised that it needs more extensive rehabilitation. The team doctors as well as the league doctors recommended that if I want to continue playing in future, as I intend to do, I must give myself some time off the field to recover," Gudjohnsen said.
It is not yet clear whether Gudjohnsen was injured in Spain, where the club had a pre-season stint, or in India. The team had returned home from Spain in the second week of this month.
The ace forward did not participate in FC Pune City's practice match against Ozone FC earlier this week.
"The injuries to Eidur and Andre both are unfortunate developments for us. Eidur had a very good pre-season training stint with us in Spain where he showed us his formidable skills. But then injuries are a part of every sport and football is a team game so we have to move on. Eidur leaves behind a lot of valuable inputs that came with his experience and the boys have learnt a lot from his presence during the pre-season training in Spain. We wish both all the best for their future," Antonio Habas, coach of FC Pune City said.
FC Pune City are on the lookout for a replacement ahead of their ISL's opening fixture against Mumbai City FC on October 3 at Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune.