Trembling about injury Maertens at OHL: “Losing Mathieu would be a heavy blow”

“We are suspicious of the verdict for Mathieu.” Marc Brys doesn’t beat around the bush. He is very concerned about the kick that Mathieu Maertens received against KV Kortrijk on Sunday. The West Fleming tried to play on for a while, but had to sit down immediately. Over and out. He left the field with a face like a thunderstorm, on crutches he left the stadium a little later. “He twisted his foot”, says Siebe Schrijvers, who replaced Maertens after his injury. “It didn’t look good,” added Louis Patris.

Yesterday, the OHL playmaker underwent a first set of examinations. They still didn’t come up with a conclusion. “He himself fears a fracture,” says Brys. It is hoped for a solid bruise without fracture, but a new scan should clarify that today.

A serious injury to Maertens would be a minor disaster for the team from Leuven. He is one of the absolute key players, if not the most important. “A loss to Mathieu would be a heavy blow,” Patris realizes. It was immediately visible against Kortrijk: without Maertens, OHL is not the same team.

His stats aren’t even that impressive – but they’re okay with five goals and two assists this season – but Maertens is much more than his stats. He walks between the lines, which allows him to disrupt opponents, and provides depth. If you were to look at the number of goals in which he is involved in one way or another, his statistics are impressive. Sunday’s defeat against Kortrijk meant a nod to OHL’s play-off ambitions, but a serious injury to Maertens would mean a serious kink in those ambitions.

Writers happy with minutes

On Sunday it was Schrijvers who replaced Maertens. In case of prolonged absence, he is also one of the options to take on Maertens’ duties. “It took some searching, but Siebe did enter the race”, says Brys about Schrijvers’ performance. “Of course I don’t wish this on Mathieu, but I was happy that I could make minutes,” says the Limburger himself about his long 60-minute substitution. “That’s what I need to grow to my top form.”

Schrijvers was happy with his playing minutes, but otherwise there was little reason to be satisfied. “The disappointment is huge,” he says about the 2-3 defeat against Kortrijk. “If we had played it better, we would have taken the three points. It hurts a lot that it’s the other way around. And the fact that Kortrijk also won here a few weeks ago only makes it more painful.”

Schrijvers’ Achilles tendon is getting better and better. “I feel less and less pain,” it sounds. “During the game I don’t feel anything, but when I get into the dressing room afterwards I do. Conditionally I am already in order, because playing 60 minutes was no problem.”

OHL has to recover and will also get the chance to do so on Friday against Westerlo and on Tuesday against Eupen. “Teams that you have to pick up points against. Those matches have become even more important because of our defeat against Kortrijk”, concludes Schrijvers.

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