KV Mechelen have today announced that Jordi Vanlerberghe will be out until after the 2022 World Cup, as he undergoes preventative cardiac surgery. The club reported that during a routine screening an issue was picked up that required medical attention.
Former Club Brugge defender Vanlerberghe has played 13 times for Mechelen this season, scoring twice.
Malinwa face table toppers Genk this Friday night, which will also see the return of one of their most successful managers, Wouter Vrancken. Former Belgian international Vrancken spent four years at Mechelen, in which he won the domestic cup, despite being in the second tier of Belgian football. It was only the second time that the club had won the domestic cup. Vrancken also won promotion back to the top flight of Belgian football. Both trophies came in his first season at the club.
Vrancken moved to Genk this summer, and is currently sitting in 1st place having only lost one game all season, which was the opener against reigning champions Club Brugge.
Mechelen are on a two game winning run, with new manager Steven Defour having taken over from Danny Buijs after a poor start to the season. Buijs is one of a number of early managerial casualties in Belgium, with Eupen, Charleroi and Anderlecht all currently looking for new managers. Former Beerschot manager Will Still has already ruled himself out of a return to Belgium to take up any of the current vacancies.