Kerala Blasters FC’s Uruguayan midfielder Adrian Luna successfully underwent an arthroscopic surgery following a chondral knee injury on his left foot on December 14 in Mumbai. Kerala Blasters FC’s medical team will monitor Luna’s rehabilitation to ensure a seamless and complete recovery.

Luna has been the most impactful player for the Blasters since joining the team and one of the most versatile players in the Indian Super League (ISL). Luna’s unavailability is a major loss for the Manjappada Brigade, as they will miss not only his eye-soothing goals and artistic assists but also his creative sparks, sheer ball control, commendable hard work, and leadership qualities.

The Uruguayan has scored three goals and provided four assists in nine matches so far this season, becoming the player to have the most goal contribution for the Blasters. With a record 26 goal-scoring chances for his team, Luna maintained a 76% passing accuracy. Kerala Blasters FC’s head coach, Ivan Vukomanovic, has to fill Luna’s place with some new names like Mohammed Aimen, Vibin Mohanan, Mohammed Azhar, and others, but it will be very tough for them to showcase their potential and replicate Luna’s performance in the match.

Before their next home match against Mumbai City FC, Vukomanovic shared some insights on Luna’s injury in the pre-match press conference.

“It’s hard to predict precisely. He underwent surgery on December 14th after our game in Delhi against Punjab FC.,” he stated.

“The initial recovery phase will take 5–6 weeks, followed by his return after the Super Cup. He’ll continue his recovery in Kochi with us, and depending on how that goes, we’ll determine his return. It’s uncertain if he’ll make it back this season,” he added.

Vukomanovic acknowledged that they suffered a lot of injuries with Jaushua Sotirio, Jeakson Singh, Freddy Lallawmawma, Marko Leskovic, and Dimitrios Diamantakos. He urged his players to focus on themselves and wants his young players to step up to show their quality in the absence of Luna.

“We’ve faced challenges before, missing key players like Jaushua Sotirio, Jeakson Singh, Freddy Lallawmawma, Marko Leskovic, and Dimitrios Diamantakos, yet we navigated through,” he shared.

“The absence of Luna is tough, but our focus is on the game, using hungry youngsters to showcase their qualities and fight for Kerala Blasters FC on the pitch. The upcoming games might be a struggle, but we aim to manage, get points, and hope for the best, as seen in our recent match against Punjab FC,” he added.

Vukomanovic shared that it’s totally impossible to find an ideal replacement for Luna, the difference-maker. Speaking in context, he said:

“When you have this kind of player who is making the difference, we can never say that we will replace him.”

“It is impossible to go for another option and try to fill in the gap. If we speak about the European market, the South American market, or any other market, it is half of the season. Good players who are under contract will not break the contract to come to the ISL for a couple of months,” he continued.

The Serbian does not want to go in a rush to find a replacement for Luna. Rather, he wants to bring in that player whose playing style fits their philosophy.

“January market is limited; not many players are free,” he added.

“We are a club that doesn't sign players just to sign players. We want players who will bring something to us—something we need. We will try to acquire the player to fill in the gap, somebody who can come and be immediately available to play games, to adapt to the climate difference, the team, and the way we play in the ISL,” he signed off.