It was only three months ago when Josh Cavallo returned to the pitch following a serious achilles injury. But now, the Australian soccer star is injured again. Cavallo announced Wednesday he’s heading to the operating table, and will be unable to finish the season.

“A year ago I had a serious injury, achilles tendon rupture, I was a year without being able to play. There were many days of pain and suffering, but a lot of learning,” he posted on Instagram.

“Unfortunately, now I have to live a similar situation, which I will face with the same mentality. I want to thank all those people who support me through surgery. Football is my life and no matter how many obstacles they’re, I will always have the enthusiasm to keep fighting for my dreams.”

He shared a similar message on X, where fans rallied around the handsome forward.

While sidelined for his previous achilles tendon rupture, Cavallo wasn’t only dealing with a difficult rehab. The out gay player was also facing homophobic taunts.

He opened up about the taunts he faced, sharing his experience on social media.

“Being absent from football with a long term injury, the outside noise was present and unavoidable amongst this journey,” he posted. “Sadly, countless and endless threats aimed to my everyday life and sexuality due to my football absence.”

But Cavallo didn’t allow those cruel words to derail him. He continued with his rehab, thanks to the overwhelming support he received from his fans. 

“To the people that were there endlessly with positivity. Thank you, you beautiful people,” he wrote. “I returned back with my team and on the rise for my return.”

Though Cavallo only appeared in four matches this season, he made his time count. Fans awarded him with a standing ovation when he made his first appearance on the field, playing the final seven minutes of Adelaide United’s 1-1 draw with Macarthur FC in early January.

“I feel great,” said Cavallo during his post-match interview. “I’ve got the biggest smile on my face right now because it was a hard road. It was a long road as well and taught me patience. I had great guidance from my partner and my family who got me how I am today. And I’m really proud I could step back on that field—just want to snag a goal next time!”

In a different interview, Cavallo revealed he had to re-learn basic physical movements post-surgery.

“You have to learn how to walk again. You’re on crutches, you’re in a moon boot for a long time. You become quite fragile and quite weak, and you have to build that back up again,” he said. “But it does make you grateful for the things you have around you. Just everyday things we get to do, we get to walk. Those are things I had to learn to do again. Stepping onto that field last night meant a lot to me, because it’s come a long way.”

One of the highlights of Cavallo’s pro career happened last month, when he played in his league’s Pride round after missing last season’s inaugural rendition.

Prior to the weekend, he showed off his rainbow attire for all to see.

“I’m extremely proud to announce the New Limited Addition Pride Jersey to show the world that WE’RE HERE, WE’RE QUEER and WE ARE THRIVING!,” he wrote.

“The lives we have changed together in this world is beyond beautiful. We’re changing this world to be a safer home for the LGBTQ+ community.”

Our man looks good in everything, but we think any sort of Pride celebration makes him pop!

It’s not surprising that Cavallo embraced the Pride round in such public fashion. He’s one of the more visible out gay active male athletes today, campaigning for civil rights and appearing on unabashed queer programs, such as RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The native Aussie is one of only six out gay active male pro soccer players in the world.

A few months ago, Cavallo took his advocacy a step further, posting antigay messages he’s received, along with a heartfelt statement.

“I share my life via this social media platform to help individuals grow around the world. To feel empowered in their own skin. To be comfortable with the person they wish to be,” he wrote.

“I’m hand on heart so proud of how much my football club and the LGBTQIA+ community have grown in the world of football but we have to remember there is still a huge amount of work left.”

But with darkness, also comes light. Early this year, Cavallo got engaged to his handsome partner, Leighton Morrell.

Cavallo popped the question at his club, Adelaide United’s, home stadium. He thanked team management for their unwavering allyship.

“Your endless support has meant so much to me,” he wrote. “You have provided a safe space in football, one that I never in my dreams thought could ever be possible, and encouraged me to live everyday of my life authentically. It felt right to share this special moment on the pitch, where it all started.”

Cavallo may be in for another tough rehab, but this time around, he’ll have loving support. We’re rooting for a speedy, speedy recovery!

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