Jinxed Socceroos midfielder Massimo Luongo has described his injury woes at Sheffield Wednesday as “a nightmare”, as he eyes a November return from his latest setback.
Fast becoming a forgotten Socceroo, the 29-year-old midfielder ripped his hamstring in his solitary League One appearance so far this season against Rotherham six weeks ago.
The blow was a metaphor for Luongo’s two-plus years in Yorkshire, with just 12 appearances last season after he suffered concussion, ankle and knee injuries.
He made 27 appearances in his debut season after signing from Queens Park Rangers.
In a frank assessment on his time with the Owls - which included relegation from the Championship last season - Luongo told FTBL: “It’s literally been a nightmare since I’ve come here (with the injuries)
“It’s been horrible and so frustrating. I’ve had a succession of impact injuries.
“It wasn’t anything to do with my professionalism or anything like that, they were just unlucky injuries.
"When you have a (serious) knee injury other things crop up and set you back. That’s normal with those types of injuries.
“When I have played - even at 50 per cent fit - I haven’t felt that I was far off my best.”
It was initially feared lthat Luongo - who is in the final year of his contract - might face hamstring surgery.
But tide of misfortune may have turned, with Luongo adding: “It looks like I’ll be back quicker than I thought, although not quick enough as far as I’m concerned.
“I feel good now. I'm back running again and I’m hoping to be back in contention in a few weeks time. I’m not far off.”
Luongo was the Owls’ man of the match before a last minute tackle against Rotherham sent him back to the treatment table.
If ninth-placed Wednesday are to go up this season, they need his tenacity and touch through the middle.
“The Rotherham game showed me that I’m still a really good player," he said.
“I’ve got to keep on top of things - I'm getting a bit older now and maybe need to take a bit of a step back at training sometimes.
“The good thing about being injured is that you spend a lot of time in the gym working on the areas where you’ve had problems.
“I’m confident that what I do come back I’m going to be really good, really strong and really fit. I can’t wait, it’s been that long.
“When I was at (former club) QPR I was never injured, nor with the Socceroos, but the surgery on my knee really set me back."
Capped 43 times by Australia, Luongo has fallen down the pecking order and is prioritising a rebirth for Wednesday before attempting to reignite the international flame.
“Listen, the Socceroos are in the background now. I don’t expect anything,” he said.
“My main objective now is to get fit so I can play here for Sheffield Wednesday.
"This is my workplace I just want to help the club do you well. With all the other distractions and uncertainties I don’t need any more now, especially coming back from injury.
“I just need to take it one day at a time, and one game at a time when I’m fit and playing.
“I like to think I’m that missing piece in the team that we probably need to push on a bit. I know they want me back and it’s nice to feel wanted.”
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