Handball Bundesliga squad MT Melsungen will need to cope without its number 1 keeper for the first part of the pre-season. Goalie Johan Sjöstrand underwent an orthoscopic knee procedure by Dr Gerd Rauch this past Wednesday, with chips removed from the joint and repairs made to the medial meniscus. The experienced orthopaedic surgeon has ordered the Swede to recuperate for at least three or four weeks.
Having already missed three months during a crucial part of the season due to a wrist operation, Johan Sjöstrand has once again been bit by the injury bug. The knee had shown a tendency to swell when subjected to certain stresses, leading MT Team Physician Dr Gerd Rausch to attempt an invasive fix: chips were removed from the joint followed by repairs to the cartilage and medial meniscus.
"Johan will be restricted to stabilisation exercises for now. In three or four weeks he'll be allowed to start putting strain on the knee again. Beyond that, these kinds of operations don't tend to be particularly dramatic", reported the knee specialist from Kassel, to the relief of team officials. On 24 July the MT squad will head out to the first highlight of its pre-season, training camp on the Fleesensee (Mecklenburg-Vorpommern).
"It's naturally quite a shame when injury knocks a player out of training, regardless of what point in the season. But Johan is a highly experienced goalkeeper who has shown an ability to get back into form quickly following injury. This was the case following his hand injury, when he made his comeback against THW Kiel and ended up as one of the players of the match. We'll have to cope for his absence during the pre-season, but we're lucky to have René Villadsen and Maurice Paske, two other fine goalkeepers", explains Coach Michael Roth.
Johan Sjöstrand joined the team from North Hesse last season. The 29 year old from Sweden is considered one of the best at his craft in the Bundesliga, with outstanding blocking skills that produce an above-average number of saves — a cornerstone of the team's run to a fourth place finish last season, the club's best-ever ranking.