Defender S. Subramaniam's (right) latest injury will see him miss the national team call-up for the Asian Cup qualifier Group D match against Yemen in the United Arab Emirates on March 5. - Filepic
PETALING JAYA: Defender S. Subramaniam can’t seem to shrug off his bad luck.
Last season, the national centreback was a mere spectator with Kelantan following a serious knee injury (torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), meniscus and patellar tendon) in the 2012 Malaysia Cup final.
This season, he joined Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) with the hope of making a fresh start. The tough-tackling defender made his JDT debut from the bench in the 3-2 loss to Pahang in Kuantan last week.
He came on as a second-half substitute and was struck by bad luck again. He strained his quadriceps and will be out for four weeks.
The 28-year-old’s latest injury will also see him missing the national team call-up for the Asian Cup qualifier Group D match against Yemen in the United Arab Emirates on March 5.
Subra, however, feels that his injury won’t disrupt JDT’s game plan in their Super League match against league leaders Selangor at the Larkin Stadium on Saturday night.
“I was looking forward to make the starting line-up and getting back into contention for the national team. But it seems that I’ll have to wait longer now,” said the Sungai Siput-born Subra on Friday.
“I take this setback positively ... I didn’t play the full 2013 season, so this four-week rehab is not too bad. I will now focus on getting ready to return to the team after the three-week international break.”
Subra has warned his team-mates to be wary of the threat posed by Selangor’s attacking midfielder Juninho and wingers S. Kunalan and Fitri Shazwan Raduwan although it is striker Paulo Rangel who is being touted as the dangerman based on his goal-scoring form.
The Brazilian striker is the top scorer with five goals after four matches.
“Rangel is dangerous but his threat can easily be nullified if we can cut the services to him from midfield ... I believe the Selangor flankers and their No 10 (Juninho) are the one that we need to contain,” said Subra.
He also cautioned his team-mates to be wary of provocation by their opponents, saying “we should just focus on our game plan”.
“I hope the fans will be able to control their emotions and everyone gets to enjoy football and return home safely,” said Subra.
JDT are expected to welcome back two key players to the first-team. Skipper Mohd Aidil Zafuan Abdul Razak has recovered from a thigh injury while striker Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, who was down with dengue fever, is fit to play.