Soccer / Injury-plagued Roberto Colautti Bewails Bad Luck

It should have been his week. After a serious injury sidelined him for two months, followed by good performances by other strikers that left him benched, Israeli-Argentinean striker Roberto Colautti was about to get his big break when Borussia Monchengladbach leading goal scorer Rob Friend (12 goals) was given a red card.

During the club's training camp in Spain, the player was summoned to a chat with Manager Jos Lukuhay and told that he is counting on his performance in the next match. They say there is no good time be injured, but it seems fate really had it in for Colautti - he was injured again, this time necessitating a month's rest from soccer. His break will have to wait for another time.

"I'm in the dumps," Colautti told Haaretz on Monday. "I didn't think I'd get this low, and it seems the whole season in Germany - my dream - will be wasted on injuries. I'm in a bad mood, and have no luck with injuries."

Since the start of the season, Colautti has not managed to secure a place in the starting lineup. Monchengladbach, which is at the top of the second league, has managed to make do without him, and when the time has come for him to prove his worth he is unable to seize it.

"I don't start in the lineup but do get a few minutes play here and there in matches," he said. "I can't complain, because the team is in first place and both our scorers have 21 goals, so no complaints can be made. I think that the fact that the team is doing well without me gives me the strength to wait in patience, because had I known it was done because they don't believe in me or because they think I am not training hard enough, it would have been a lot harder."

Next month Israel will host Romania for an international friendly match from which Colautti will be absent, raising cause for concern that his spot in the national team is also in peril.

"That I won't play bothers me greatly," he said. Colautti was Israel's leading goal scorer in its last campaign to qualify for the European championship.

"Any player who plays well will receive credit from the coach, and that will make it much more difficult for me to return to my spot. I'm very worried."