April 09, 2015 11:41:56 UK
Veteran Wellington Phoenix striker Joel Griffiths is determined not to let a serious knee injury force him into retirement.
The 35-year-old former Socceroo faces a long spell on the sidelines after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left leg.
I hope I don’t have to go out like this and if I have anything to do with it I won’t.
Griffiths, who joined the Phoenix last month, had been offered a one-year contract by the Wellington side before his injury and hopes he will be able to play on.
It has been a nightmare year for the striker so far, after he had his contract terminated in February by Newcastle Jets along with four teammates.
Phoenix coach Ernie Merrick, whose side are 7.00 to win the Grand Final, brought him in on an injury replacement deal for the rest of the season, but he was injured in the first half of last weekend’s 3-0 home defeat to Sydney FC.
Scans have confirmed the extent of his injury, and he will have surgery within the next six weeks once the swelling is reduced.
“I hope I don’t have to go out like this and if I have anything to do with it I won’t,” said Griffiths. “A lot of people have written me off in the past and I have proved them wrong.
“In the back of my mind this time they may be right but I will be doing everything possible to get back. I am a very determined person and when I want something I usually get it.”
Griffiths, who won the A-League’s Golden Boot award and Johnny Warren Medal with Newcastle in 2007-08, said the Phoenix had offered him a contract before he suffered his injury and he had been about to sign.
Merrick said: “Joel has always been fit and professional in the way he has looked after himself and I strongly believe he will come back from this and play in the A-League again.”
The Phoenix are 4.00 to win their next match against Melbourne City, who are 1.85 with the draw 3.60.
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