Briffa faces anxious wait after suffering knee injury Published on: 13-09-2016
Roderick Briffa faces an anxious wait to discover the nature and extent of his injury after the Valletta midfielder hurt his knee in the opening half of his side’s 5-1 Premier League victory over Pembroke Athleta on Saturday.
The veteran stalwart, winner of the Malta FA footballer of the year award last season after playing a key role in Valletta’s title success, suffered the injury following a tackle by Pembroke midfielder Paltemio Barbetti. He was replaced by Umeh Calistus 11 minutes from half-time.
Briffa is expected to have an MRI scan on his knee today which will enable doctors to make a proper diagnosis of his injury but the early indications are that he will miss the top-of-the-table clash with Balzan on Saturday.
Like Valletta, Balzan have made a perfect start to the season, winning their opening three games.
With Claudio Pani yet to complete a two-match ban after his sending-off in the 1-0 defeat of Mosta and Malta U-21 international Llywelyn Cremona nursing a hamstring problem, Briffa’s potential absence would leave City coach Paul Zammit short of midfield options.
Briffa’s injury is also bad news for national coach Pietro Ghedin as the 35-year-old is now in danger of missing Malta’s much-awaited 2018 World Cup Group F qualifiers against England at Wembley on October 8 and against Lithuania three days later.
Although Briffa has been used sparingly by Ghedin lately, he is one of the most experienced and respected members of the national squad.
The Valletta talisman came on as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 friendly draw against Estonia and the 5-1 home defeat to Scotland in Malta’s opening 2018 World Cup qualifier on September 4.
Losing Briffa would represent another setback for Ghedin who is already deprived of defender Jonathan Caruana and winger Luke Gambin, both suspended after being sent off in the Scotland reverse.
Caruana and Gambin have been suspended for one match but the latter is likely to be hit with an extended ban after FIFA informed the Malta FA that they had opened disciplinary proceedings against the nippy winger who was shown a straight red card for lashing out at Scotland midfielder Robert Snodgrass in stoppage time.
Source - Times of Malta
Source - Times of Malta