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23.02.2009, 14:11
Popovic seriously injured
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Coach Jakob Vestergaard talks about the difficulties Viborg will face after the unlucky injury of Bojana Popovic.
 

Popovic seriously injured

Viborg’s Bojana Popovic – mentioned among the best players in the world – will be sidelined for nine to twelve months due to a serious knee injury that she picked up on Friday when her team lost to Hypo 30-28.

The 29-year old Bojana Popovic, playing her second season for Viborg, was injured early in the second half in Vienna. After shooting on goal and scoring from a clear chance at 17-15 for Hypo, the Montenegrin twisted her knee and had to abandon the game. The scan on Sunday proved that the front ligament of her knee has been torn completely. This, together with other damages to her knee, will mean that Popovic will be sidelined for at least nine months – perhaps to a year.

It will be difficult to cover the place of PopovicViborg are currently second in Group 1 with four points. Eurohandball.com talks to head coach Jakob Vestergaard about the consequences of Bojana Popovic´s injury.

Eurohandball.com: What does this mean for your Champions League dreams?

Jakob Vestergaard: First of all, it is very sad for Bojana and for Viborg HK. It probably means that we drop from being among the favourites for the title to an underdog status.

However, since I was informed how serious this injury is, I already had some time to think about the consequences. We will have to revise our attacking play. We still have very strong backcourt players: Grit Jurack speaks for herself, Chao Zhai was once the best female players in the world, and as late at the EURO 2008 Rikke Skov was awarded the most valuable player title in her country. In addition, our defence and our counter attacks will probably not suffer a blow.

Eurohandball.com: One might say that a Champions League candidate should not depend so much on a single player…

Jakob Vestergaard: You may say so, but then again… Just take Nikola Karabatic away from THW Kiel and what have they got? You are right, however, we should be able to rise from this and I hope that we will still be strong enough to qualify for the semi-finals of the CL and for the finals in Denmark.

Eurohandball.com: Your chances are still pretty good. You could even lose by five goals from Podravka on Saturday and still qualify…

Jakob Vestergaard. You are right about that, of course, but many things can still happen in our group. I still believe that the group is very open. Anyway, we are taking one match at a time, so right now we concentrate trying to win against Podravka. The game against KIF Vejen in the Danish league on Wednesday will be a good test.

Eurohandball.com: The injury of Bojana Popovic will reach well into next season. Do you think you should reinforce the team for next season?

Jakob Vestergaard: Frankly speaking, we have not though about that yet. We are going to have a meeting very soon in order to clarify the exact consequences of this. After that will we decide what should be done.


TEXT: Peter Bruun
 
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