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Kostovski goes down with serious injury

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Kostovski after the injury: photo: OH LeuvenKostovski after the injury: photo: OH LeuvenMacedonia's manager Ljubinko Drulovic will definitely not be able to count on Jovan Kostovski after the striker suffered a serious shoulder injury on Saturday.

One week after Arijan Ademi went down with an injury (thankfully it wasn't too serious), another key member of the national team was injured this Saturday. Jovan Kostovski, the expected starter at CF, suffered a serious shoulder injury in the game between Mechelen and OH Leuven. It occurred in the 35th minute when Mechelen player Seth De Witte made an uncompromising challenge. Jovan fell hard on his right shoulder and could not continue. He was put on a stretcher and taken out by medical personnel.

To learn more about the severity of Kostovski's injury, we contacted one of our friends on Twitter, Frank DeKeyser. He covers Mechelen for HLN Sport and was at the stadium when the injury happened. After the game, DeKeyser sent us the news via a direct message on Twitter that Kostovski will be out 2-3 months. His team, OH Leuven, fears that Jovan has a ligament rupture on his right shoulder.

Jovan left on a stretcher; photo: OH LeuvenJovan left on a stretcher; photo: OH Leuven

The timetable of 2-3 months means that Kostovski will not be available for the next four games for Macedonia. The senior national team plays four times between September 5 and October 12, so this is a tough blow for Drulovic. Kostovski was expected to start at CF in Ljubinko's preferred 4-2-3-1 formation.

Kostovski will be withdrawn from the squad early next week after Drulovic talks to the player. At that point, or sometime before August 31 (starting date of the preparations), another striker will be added. The three most likely candidates vying for a call-up are Krste Velkoski, Ilija Nestorovski and Ivan Trichkovski. If I had to guess, I believe Nestorovski will be given the nod from that group due to his current form with Inter Zaprešić.

As a reminder, this is the second consecutive time that an injury will prevent Kostovski from playing for Macedonia. He was also included in the initial squad for the Slovakia qualifier back in June, but he would be withdrawn after the FFM doctors performed tests on him.

For the second game, Kostovski had a golden bull on the back of his jersey for being the top scorer; photo: OH LeuvenFor the second game, Kostovski had a golden bull on the back of his jersey for being the top scorer; photo: OH Leuven

Jovan, 28, had been in good form to open the season in Belgium. Entering Round 4 this weekend, he was tied as the leading scorer in the league.

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