NICE TOUCH: Josh Barresi with the shirt from Juventus. Picture: Simone De PeakJOSH Barresi’s horror Jets debut finally has a silver lining.
The midfielder suffered a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee in a friendly against Juventus during the Italian giants’ Australian visit three months ago.
Barresi, who joined the Jets from Western Sydney Wanderers this season, was collected in a challenge and twisted his knee.
He had reconstructive surgery eight weeks ago and has recently started the strength phase of his eight-month rehab program.
It was hardly the introduction the attacking midfielder had planned.
Nor was it the memory he hoped to take from playing a star-studded Juventus line-up.
At least now he has something to show for it.
As a gesture of goodwill, Juventus sent the 19-year-old an autographed playing shirt last week.
“It was definitely a bittersweet night,” Barresi said of the friendly at Kogarah Oval. “I got a bit of contact in a tackle and it was unlucky the way my foot was positioned.
“[Jets CEO] Robbie Middleby told me that Juventus had been in contact and asked how I was. I didn’t expect a signed shirt. It doesn’t make up for hurting my knee, but it was a nice gesture.”
Barresi is of Italian heritage and has been a Juventus supporter since he was a child.
“I will certainly be getting it framed and putting is somewhere special,” he said.
Barresi is out of a brace but will not return this season.
“Hopefully I will be back in training by May, but I won’t be involved this campaign,” he said. “There is a chance I could play for the youth team in the NPL next season, but that will be up to the coaching staff and physio.”