Following the devastating news that Maikel Kieftenbeld will be out for between six to nine months due to a ruptured cruciate ligament in his right knee sustained against Leeds on Saturday, the club have supported him to the highest level.
Not only providing the Dutchman with the highest level of care, as a sign of faith, Blues have announced they will be looking to activate his year’s option in his contract, which expires in the Summer 2020.
The midfielder is due to undergo surgery on Monday. Here’s what Blues boss Garry Monk had to say about the situation:
“I haven’t gone into those (contract) details,” said Monk. “But that’s something we wanted to do and the Club wanted to do, have those discussions.
“We feel it’s the right thing to do. And it’s about creating the right environment for these players, that togetherness and that spirit.
“We look after each other, from the terraces to the team. I think it’s a sign of that change of mentality this season, that change of approach possibly.
“It’s the right thing to do. Hopefully Maikel will be delighted with that but the most important thing is that he is looked after. He has given us a lot this season and he always will moving forward.”
“It’s a hard one,” said Monk, who made sure he spent time with Kieftenbeld post-match in the treatment room adjoining Blues dressing room before conducting his debrief and speaking to the media.
“He’s been such a big part of it this season for us. I have been through those injuries myself and it’s a tough one to take.
“The main message to him was that as soon as you can accept what has happened and focus on what needs to be done – which he will do, he’s a really good professional, the type of lad who will do the rehab properly – then that’s important.
“The key is the rehab. How you approach it, the mentality you do it with. That’s the key to coming back.
“We are all gutted for him, if I’m honest. As I have said, they’re a really close-knit group. After Leeds, we had just beaten them, in the changing room there was quite a sombre feeling. That shows how much they respect each other and fight for each other.
“The operation will hopefully be on Monday. He has already seen the specialist. He’s happy, we’re all happy and it is planned for Monday. Hopefully that gets done and we can all get on with his rehab.”
Fellow teammate Lukas Jutkiewicz was also quick to express his support for the Keift, as he too sustained a similar injury in the past:
“I spoke to Kief after the game on Saturday, I am really close with him, it’s an injury I have suffered myself, so I know to a certain degree what he is going through at the moment,” said Jutkiewicz.
“I had to make sure he knew he has got the full backing of everyone in the squad, and everything he needs we are going to make sure we provide him with.
“He’s going to have highs and lows through his rehab – it’s a long one. But ultimately, he’s got the right mentality.
“We will be here for him and do everything we can to make sure his recovery is as quick as possible.
“If there’s one thing he has shown more than perhaps anyone over the years, on the pitch, whenever he pulls a shirt on, commitment is everything to him and he will show the same in his rehabilitation.”
We wish Dutch Mike a speedy recovery!