The Indian Super League’s defending champions ATK’s hope of a rampant start to the season have taken a hit, as their marquee striker Robbie Keane has returned home for treatment for an achilles injury. The former Tottenham Hotspur striker is expected to miss at least three games.
Keane, who signed up for the two-time champions ATK in August to team up with his former teammate Teddy Sheringham has been forced to return home for treatment after he got injured in Dubai.
As the club's marquee player, Keane was scheduled to be part of the ISL’s Media Day on Sunday in Kolkata.
"Robbie Keane picked up an achilles tendon injury while in Dubai, he has been taking injections as well. But he will definitely be out for the first few weeks," said manager Teddy Sheringham.
Just in: "Robbie Keane has picked up an Achilles problem in Dubai, he's been taking a few injections for it but will be out for the first few weeks." - Teddy Sheringham #HeroISLMediaDay #LetsFootball pic.twitter.com/ng8Vs6llnJ— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) November 12, 2017
Keane, with 68 international goals in 146 appearances to his name is the all-time leading goal scorer for Ireland and is also the most experienced footballer in his nation. The former Spurs man also played for a considerable amount of time in the English Premier League is ranked 13th on the all-time scorers list.
The former Republic of Ireland captain Keane who also turned out for Liverpool and Aston Villa moved to LA Galaxy in 2011 before deciding to come to India. In the MLS, Keane scored 83 goals and assisted another 45 in 125 games.
The injury will come as a blow to ATK's new coach and Keane's former team-mate Teddy Sheringham, who had earlier talked up the former Tottenham striker's "enthralling skills with the ball" and "willingness to take on the opposition" as huge assets for the upcoming season.