Paston rues bad luck

Mark Paston is probably wondering who he annoyed in a former life. The Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper faces months on the sidelines after suffering a freak injury in the 2-0 loss to Gold Coast United at the weekend.

Mark Paston is probably wondering who he annoyed in a former life. The Wellington Phoenix goalkeeper faces months on the sidelines after suffering a freak injury in the 2-0 loss to Gold Coast United at the weekend.

An awkward collision with striker Bruce Djite just before half-time left him in agony on the turf and facing surgery to fix a depressed fracture of the tibial plateau.

Paston, who turned 34 on Monday, knows exactly what lies ahead of him because 12 months ago he suffered the exact same injury to his left leg after a training ground clash with skipper Andrew Durante and missed the Phoenix's run to the preliminary final.

"I'd like to say it's a weakness that I could do something about, but it just unlucky really. This sort of thing seems to happen to me," Paston lamented.

He goes under the knife on Friday where the top of the tibia just below the right knee will be pushed up back in place and pinned. He'll spend six weeks on crutches then gradually up the rehabilitation to walking, cycling, jogging and hopes to be back on the training field by May.

"Part of it makes it very frustrating doing something again, especially when it's a very uncommon injury," he admitted.

"I suppose when I get round to my rehab I know I can do it and I know exactly what I need to do and that will help."

But he concedes he's not great at watching football so not playing will be difficult.

"It is hard, especially now when we are a little bit up and down and you want to be part of the solution. Unfortunately I can't do that now so it's up to Danny (Vukovic)," Paston said.

Given his age and his bad luck with injuries, it would be quite understandable if Paston said enough is enough. But the goalkeeper is determined to be back after signing a new deal that will keep him at the Phoenix until the end of the 2011/12 A-League season.

"I've been feeling as good and as fit as ever. That's probably another frustrating thing," the New Zealand international said.

"My body feels good and that's the reason why I signed another contract. I felt I had at least another season in me.

"This doesn't change my mind. My left knee is like it's never had an op on it so there's no reason why this can't be the same."