Ibini out for season but vows to bounce back for Brugge

Fringe Australia attacker Bernie Ibini has ruled out a return to action this season for Club Brugge as he recuperates from his broken leg – but has promised to deliver on his undoubted promised in 2016-2017.

Bernie Ibini Club Brugge

Bernie Ibini is looking forward to next season with Club Brugge Source: AAP

The luckless Ibini, 23, crumpled to the turf with a fractured fibula and significant ankle ligament damage in a training game in July – just two weeks after signing for the Belgium Pro League leaders.

He has been in rehabilitation from surgery ever since, but with nine games left of the season is setting his sights beyond the current campaign as he prepares to enter the second year of his three-season deal.

Rather than be downcast by his ill fortune, Ibini is thankful for the progress he has made and insists he will be both mentally and physically enhanced when he steps back into pre-season training with his team-mates who are currently four points clear at the top and in pole position in the title play-offs.

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"I'd have hoped to have been back sooner but you can't rush your body and you have to be patient," said Ibini. "I am working hard and while progress has been slow, I have been making progress.

"It takes time to get back to 100 per cent ... I can do most things but running smoothly without a limp is something I am working to improve.

"I am working on treadmill and things like that. I have training individually and from where I started to where I am now, it's been a massive difference.

"Stuff like this puts a lot into perspective and just makes you hungrier again to go out there and show what you can do.

"It's been very frustrating ... when you are a professional and you can't do what you love it's very hard but you can't dwell too much and have to keep moving forward.

"I hope to train outside before the season ends, but if not then I will continue on during the summer to build myself up again and get back with the group and start afresh for next season. It wouldn't be so bad either to join them then."

Ibini knows the fates conspired against him and admits it's been a journey which has tested his physical and mental fortitude.

"Mentally it's been tough ... the harder days you just keep moving forward and tell yourself 'I'll get through this'.

"The club has been great. All the staff and players have been terrific with me, and I am grateful for that.

"It's made me even more determined to prove myself here. It was bad luck to go there and get injured straight away and I will be looking to make my mark next season.

"I have done a lot of upper body work and once I can run properly again it will all be about getting my speed back and I am sure I will return physically and mentally stronger.

"The team has done really well this year after a slow start and we've been getting better and better since January, reaching the cup final and going top of the league. We have the championship in our sights for sure."


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3 min read
Published 3 April 2016 at 12:01pm
By Dave Lewis