There is really only one major objective in any club friendly- stay healthy! When you stage an exhibition match, the hopes are that no one will get hurt. Unfortunately for Chelsea and their fans, this was not the case at the weekend, as striker Armando Broja went down with a serious knee injury against Aston Villa.
According to various reports, the 21-year-old now “needs surgery to fix a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee,” after going to ground, injured in the 22′ of the 1-0 defeat on Sunday.
Other outlets report that it is indeed the anterior cruciate ligament, and that this specific injury will keep the Albania international on the sidelines for at least five months. Honestly, it could be a maximum of a year out of action, if the worst-case scenario is realized. He is young, and in peak shape, so just don’t know, but he is definitely done for 2022-23.
If the surgery goes well, and he hits the convalescence hard, perhaps he will be ready for the kickoff of the 2023-24 season in August. Chelsea are yet to release the official statement on the Armando Broja situation, but it the press release should be coming in the next day or two. (Probably after the surgery is complete).
You can also expect Stamford Bridge to dip into the transfer market this January for a new replacement at the striker position. Chelsea return to competitive action Tuesday Dec 27 against AFC Bournemouth.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Sports Bank. He’s also the author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” and “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”