Arzani feared he'd never recover from 'gut-wrenching' knee injury

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Socceroos rising star Daniel Arzani has revealed his fears that he would never recover from the "gut-wrenching" serious knee-injury which sidelined him for the entire 2018/19 season.

Arzani suffered a ruptured anterior cruiciate ligament in his league debut for Celtic last October only moments after coming on as a second-half substitute.

The horrific injury cost the 20-year-old selection in Australia's Asian Cup squad, as well as the first year of a two-year loan deal with Scottish champions Celtic.

Painstaking recovery and rehabilitation efforts had the 2017/18 A-League Young Footballer of the Year questioning if he would ever truly get back to full-health and form on the pitch. 

"It's been really hard," Arzani said.

"It happens all the time. When you're in gym working on it every single day and it still doesn't feel the same as it did...

"You're just like, 'When is it ever going to feel the same?'

"Obviously doing  your ACL in general, but doing it when you go to a new club and it's on your debut and you're feeling good...

"It's gut-wrenching."

Arzani is confident those dark days are behind him as he plots a return to action by the start of the Scottish Premiership season.

The pacy winger is set to return to full training with the club first team in the coming weeks and he says he is fit and feeling good . 

"It does get better over time," he said. "I think now that's all behind me. I'm feeling really close to being 100% now 

"I'm just looking forward to the next season. I'm really excited. I'm going into this season, obviously just to be fit and to be training with the boys but also hopefully, to make an impact on the season.

"The biggest focus right now is just getting back and playing that first game, training back with the boys and just have my eyes set on getting my body right and feeling 100%.

"And getting back to that first game."

While Arzani was stuck on the sidelines there has been a number of big changes at Celtic, none more so than the departure of former manager Brendan Rodgers and the appointment of Neil Lennon as his replacement. 

He admitted he has not had much contact with his new boss but is looking forward to working with Lennon this season.

 "He seems like a really good guy," Arzani said.

"Obviously he's very passionate about the club. He asked me about my injury but I assume the football talk will come more when I'm closer to training with the boys."

Celtic will kick-off their season with qualifying matches for UEFA Champions League next month when they play Bosnia-Herzegovina champions Sarajevo.

Although Arzani will be forced to watch the match from the grandstand as he continues his injury rehabilitation, he says his Celtic team won't be caught out by their seemingly unknown opposition.

"The biggest mistake you can make is underestimating a team like this," he said. "It's Champions League, anything can happen. You have to do your research and play as well as you can."

Arzani is confident Celtic will successfully make it through the arduous qualifying campaign but was not a fan of the process.

"It's unfair, but I also think the cream always rises to the top," he added. "We have the quality to go through all the way and I think we are going to."

Source SBS The World Game