NorthEast's Federico Gallego inching closer to a full-fledged return
In what will be a welcome news for NorthEast United FC fans, Uruguayan midfielder Federico Gallego seems to be on track to return to the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) pitch soon. The 29-year-old recently featured in NorthEast's preparatory match against Hero I-League side East Bengal and played 75 minutes in the 0-0 draw.
To recall, Gallego was phenomenal for the Highlanders in Hero ISL 2018-19 and played a pivotal role in guiding the team to their first-ever semi-final. Unfortunately, though, the season ended on a tragic note for the creative maestro after he sustained a horrific injury in the second leg of the semis against Bengaluru FC and had to undergo surgery.
Despite the layoff, such was Gallego's influence on the team last season, the Highlanders management decided to retain the Uruguayan for Hero ISL 2019-20 despite the inability to include him in the squad for the first half of the campaign.
Having been sidelined for almost 250 days with the injury, Gallego returned to the field for the practice match against East Bengal and seems to be on his way to regaining full fitness ahead of the projected time.
With NorthEast still unbeaten in the Hero ISL 2019-20, Gallego's return, whenever it transpires, will only strengthen Robert Jarni's side. The midfielder scored five goals and laid out four assists in 20 matches last term, and the possibility of him linking up with Asamoah Gyan up top represents a mouthwatering prospect for NorthEast fans and a dire one for opposition defenders.