Veteran striker Joel Griffiths has suffered a potentially career-ending injury in what he admits is one of the "worst years" of his life.
Griffiths fears were confirmed on Thursday when scans revealed he had ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his left leg.
Dumped by Newcastle Jets as part of a roster cull, the 35-year-old had just got his season back on track.
He signed a short-term contract with Wellington Phoenix and was on the verge of putting pen to paper on an extended deal.
Griffiths was stretchered off after 30 minutes against Melbourne Victory on Sunday, apparently unaware of the extent of the injury.
On Wednesday he tweeted: “Knees (sic) pulled up well, in the squad to face Melbourne City.’’
He will undergo an operation in the next four to six weeks once the swelling is reduced.
Speaking about the devastating injury news Griffiths said: “It has been one of the worst years of my life, football wise.
“I hope I don’t have to go out like this and if I have anything to do with it I won’t.
“A lot of people have written me off in the past and I have proved them wrong.
“In the back of my mind this time they may be right but I will be doing everything possible to get back.
“I am a very determined person and when I want something I usually get it – just ask my wife!”
Griffiths was particularly upset at the timing of the injury, after salvaging his season with the title-chasing Wellington.
“I have absolutely loved it at the Phoenix where the culture is fantastic,” he said.
“I was so down after the problems at Newcastle and what I found in Wellington was a breath of fresh air.
“I take my hat off to Ernie (Merrick) and Dura (Andrew Durante) for making the opportunity available.
“Those two put so much faith in me I am more upset at not being able to contribute for the rest of the season.”
Griffiths also revealed that he had been offered a contract by the Phoenix for next season.
“The club put an offer in front of me and after discussing it with my wife I was going to sign another contract,” he said.
“It (the club) is very special and I believe it has a great future.’
Coach Ernie Merrick said it was a disappointing way for the season to end for Griffiths.
“He was a great acquisition for our squad and it is a major blow for him,” Merrick said.
“I have to say he is coping very well with what has happened and that is because he is an extremely positive person who fitted easily into our culture.
“Joel has always been fit and professional in the way he has looked after himself and I strongly believe he will come back from this and play in the A-League again.”comments