Western United’s Socceroos defender Josh Risdon will miss at least the first two months of the A-League season due to complications from a leg injury he suffered in the 2019-20 finals series.
Risdon’s ongoing issues with a tibia injury he sustained when tackled by Brisbane Roar captain Tom Aldred in an August finals match have been keep relatively quiet by United.
However, when squads were released on Sunday for the club’s season-opening clash against Adelaide at GMHBA Stadium on Monday night, it was revealed Risdon would be missing for eight to 10 weeks.
Risdon was forced off the field with his leg gashed after Aldred’s tackle but played a full game a few days later in his side’s 2-0 semi-final loss to Melbourne City.
However, the injury – which United on Sunday described as a tibial stress fracture – flared up again in the pre-season due it becoming infected.
“It’s a bit of serious one but we’ll get him back eight to 10 weeks in,” United CEO Chris Pehlivanis said.
“It was a tough game that one against Brisbane.”
But in better news for United, Max Burgess is returning to the club.
Burgess, 25, was a standout performer for United in the club’s debut season but had been keen to return to home state despite having a year of his contract remaining.
However, United stood their ground, with Burgess set to fly back to Victoria from NSW.
He’s set to be considered for selection for United’s second match of the season, a January 17 battle with Melbourne City at AAMI Park.
United coach Mark Rudan said: “Max showed his quality last year, and what happened in the off season happened in the off season.
“We just move forward and we’re embracing the fact that Maxie’s coming back to our football club.
“He’s got another year on his contract and we look forward to having Max back.
“He’s going to add quality to the attacking third and it gives us more depth as well.
Rudan said his side’s impressive stint in the closing stages of last season had him confident of a good start on Monday night.
“We’re ready. That was the message from day one, to continue where we left off,” he said.
“The majority of players have signed from last year, which is always a huge help.
“They understand our culture our environment and our system. It’s just about making sure we look to improve every day we come into work.
“We work a lot on our mentality and culture, and our environment to make sure there are no excuses.”
Singer Daryl Braithwaite will perform before the match.
“We’re singing three songs, we’ll make it good, and we’ll hopefully get the fans involved and singing along,” said Braithwaite, who will sing iconic hit The Horses, As The Days Go By and One Summer.