Tuesday, 4 February 2014 | MYT 6:32 PM
Injury thins hockey squad further
A file picture of S. Selvaraju (centre) in training. He is down with an ankle injury.
KUALA LUMPUR: Injuries have robbed the national hockey training squad of two more players.
Having already lost forward Ismail Abu to a knee injury, two others – forward S. Selvaraju and midfielder Nabil Fiqri Mohd Noor – are now crocked.
Selvaraju, who is back with the national team after more than four years, is nursing an ankle injury while Nabil has been struggling with a nagging shoulder injury.
The 29-year-old Ismail underwent a medical check-up at the National Sports Institute (ISN) in Bukit Jalil on Tuesday and national chief coach K. Dharmaraj said that the player will see a specialist on Friday.
“We will only know on Friday if he needs to go undergo surgery.”
The coach also explained that Selvaraju and Nabil have been suffering from ankle and shoulder injuries for some time.
“Every time Selvaraju trains, his ankle swells. He went for a check up at ISN today ... he’ll need to get jabs to relieve the swelling,” said Dharmaraj.
“Nabil has been suffering from the shoulder injury for quite some time now. He also needs to see a physiotherapist to help him overcome the injury.
“I can’t have injured players on board ... I want these three players to be fully recovered before I will consider them for any tournaments.
“The most important one this year is the Asian Games in Incheon (from Sept 19-Oct 4) as the champions will gain an automatic berth to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.”
The national team’s strength has been further diluted with the withdrawal of three other players – defenders Engku Malik Abdul Malik and Azreen Rizal Nasir and forward Harvinder Singh – for various reasons.
The overweight Engku Malik wants to shed a few kilogrammes while Azreen (sports science) and Harvinder (accountancy), who are both studying at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), have secured a six-month internship each.
With the six players out, there are only 29 players left in training squad.
But national chief coach K. Dharmaraj is not pressing the panic button, yet. And he’s likely to name new players for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh next month.
“All the players in the training squad will get the chance to play in five tournaments this year,” said Dharmaraj.
The other tournaments lined up for the national team are Champions Challenge I (Kuantan, April 26-May 4), World Cup (The Hague, May 31-June 15) and Commonwealth Games (Glasgow, Sept 19-Oct 4).