By DAN KARELL
Josh Gatt will have to wait another year before returning to the field for Molde FK.
The 22-year-old speedy midfielder is set to undergo surgery to repair his left anterior cruciate ligament, ruling him out for the rest of the 2014 Norwegian Tippeligaen season, according to a report in MLSSoccer.com. The torn ACL is the same one that Gatt injured in July 2013, causing him to miss the rest of the season.
The report states the surgery will be completed on May 14.
“It is a clean ACL injury this time, no other injuries,” Molde medical chief Lars Håvard Sæbø told MLSsoccer.com. “I think despite having had this a second time, when it comes to performance, I think he can be as sharp as he was before. This is something we have discussed with him.”
Sæbø seems confident that Gatt, who was known for his incredible speed and acceleration, could regain his speed despite having to repair the same ligament on two occasions.
“If he was in his 30s, that is when they lose these things,” Sæbø said. “Josh is in his early 20s, so I think he will have his speed back.”
Though Gatt will likely return to training at the close end of the 2014 campaign, Sæbø and the club want Gatt to be fully fit and are willing to extend his timetable so he’s ready to go next February.
Last March, reports emerged that Gatt had suffered another knee injury and was returning to the U.S. to see a specialist.
The injury problems have put a huge damper on Gatt’s club and international career. He was named to the U.S. Men’s National Team Gold Cup squad last summer before the injury, and has made two friendly appearances for the U.S in his career.
Gatt’s best overall club season was in 2002, where he scored six league goals and played seven times in Europa League matches.
Currently, Molde are leading the Tippeligaen with 18 points from seven matches.
What do you think of this news? Disappointed to hear about Gatt’s injury? Do you see him recovering his speed after the injury? Expect him to make the 2015 Gold Cup roster?
Share your thoughts below.