Yossi Benayoun is finishing up his career in Israel..
(photo credit: MACCABI HAIFA)
Yossi Benayoun will miss the start of the Premier League season, but Maccabi Haifa breathed a huge sigh of relief on Sunday after the midfielder was ruled out for only three to four weeks with a partial tear of ligaments in his right knee.
Benayoun limped out of Haifa’s Toto Cup quarterfinal first leg at Bnei Sakhnin on Saturday with severe pain in his knee, raising concerns that he may have completely tore his anterior cruciate ligaments, which would have seen him miss most, if not all, of the upcoming season.
However, an MRI on Sunday revealed that the 34-year-old is only suffering from a partial tear that means he will be out for the first month of the Premier League season, which begins this coming weekend, but could be back in time for Haifa’s fourth match of the campaign, an intriguing showdown against defending champion Maccabi Tel Aviv on October 6.
Haifa will still be confident of advancing to the Toto Cup semifinals when it hosts the second leg in Netanya on Wednesday after drawing 1-1 in the first leg at Sakhnin.
Haifa also hosts Sakhnin next Monday in its league opener and first ever match at the new Sammy Ofer Stadium, which is set to be packed with 30,000 fans.
New Spanish midfielder Michel could make his debut against Sakhnin in the Toto Cup on Wednesday after completing his move to the club last week. The 28-year-old played for Madrid La Liga club Getafe over the past three seasons.
Toto Cup action will continue throughout the week, with Maccabi Petah Tikva hosting Hapoel Haifa in the first leg of their quarterfinal on Sunday night. Hapoel Tel Aviv visits Ashdod SC in their first leg on Tuesday, with Maccabi Tel Aviv welcoming Hapoel Petah Tikva on Wednesday.