West Ham United
FK Astra Giurgiu
6:45 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
6:45 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Shakhtar Donetsk
Istanbul Buyuksehir BSK
7:00 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Red Star Belgrade
6:30 PM UTC
Leg 2Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
W Connection FC
Honduras Progreso
12:00 AM UTC Aug 26, 2016
Game Details
CD Dragon
2:00 AM UTC Aug 26, 2016
Game Details
Sheffield UnitedSheffield United
Game Details
ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Aloisi calms Kewell injury criticism

Melbourne Heart coach John Aloisi has played down suggestions Harry Kewell is too injury prone to fulfil his status as a marquee player, insisting the forward's latest setback was purely accidental.

Harry Kewell has returned to the A-League with the Melbourne Heart.
Kewell was expected to make his comeback this Friday.

Kewell is expected to be sidelined for up to three weeks after rolling his ankle during Heart training on Wednesday, immediately ruling him out of Friday's clash with the Western Sydney Wanderers.

Aloisi denied the club had taken a risk on another Socceroos veteran after last year's signing of Grella who retired after one match for Heart.

"If there were muscle problems or groin injuries or something that comes with old age, then I will question what we have done but Harry's been fine right through pre-season," he said. "A rolled ankle you can never prevent... it can happen to an 18-year-old, it can happen to a 35-year-old."

Aloisi insists Kewell was "distraught" after suffering the injury as the 35-year-old looks to repay the faith Heart have shown in him.

"I haven't seen a player that upset by an injury in a long, long time," he said. "Harry was distraught because he wants to be out there, he wants to help the players. He wants to help the club that's given him another opportunity."

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic revealed he was well prepared to quell the threat of Kewell on Friday, but is adamant Heart still have plenty to offer without him.

"He's a very good player and he's not there. We thought he might be back in but these things happen," Popovic said. "(Against Brisbane Roar) they played very well... You could see they were very dangerous and played very well in the first half."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.


Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.