WANGARATTA City has received the news it was dreading on the eve of its biggest match of the season, with captain Ryan ‘Dutchy’ van der Steeg set to be on the sidelines for the next 12 months.
Van der Steeg twisted his knee at training two weeks ago, and while the injury was initially thought to be minor, assistant coach Mario Antonello confirmed the star midfielder had ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and would require a knee reconstruction.
“We thought that he would be back training and ready to play this week,” Antonello said.
“But he got the MRI results back on Monday saying it was an ACL – we were all in shock.
“When he did it he was just running after a ball on his own – he just planted his foot awkwardly and it went.
“But he had twisted his knee in our practice match against Shepparton South, so you wonder whether he might have done some damage then, and if it was just ready to go.