Irish Premiership: Linfield striker Andrew Waterworth to miss start of season

Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring in the win over Cliftonville which secured the title
Andrew Waterworth celebrates scoring in the win over Cliftonville which secured the title

Linfield will begin their defence of the Premiership title without Andrew Waterworth after the forward suffered a knee injury.

The 31-year-old sustained a medial ligament injury in the Champions League qualifier against Celtic in Glasgow earlier this month.

Blues boss David Healy said Waterworth, who was key to the title success, will be out for "several weeks".

Linfield start the campaign at home against Carrick Rangers on 12 August.

Healy's men then travel to face Ards three days later before taking on Dungannon Swifts at Stangmore Park on 19 August.

It's a major blow for the Windsor Park side, who also have Jimmy Callacher and Matthew Clarke sidelined with injury as they prepare for the new season.

Waterworth scored a hat-trick in the title-clinching victory over Cliftonville at Solitude in April.

He then bagged another treble the following week to help the Blues defeat Coleraine in the Irish Cup final.

Danske Bank Premiership - Friday 11 August (19:45 BST)
Ballymena UnitedvCrusaders
Saturday 12 August (15:00 BST)
Ballinamallard UtdvGlentoran
CliftonvillevArds
Dungannon SwiftsvColeraine
LinfieldvCarrick Rangers
Warrenpoint TownvGlenavon

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