National hocket player Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor (left) is down with a calf injury and may be sidelined for a few days. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: A delay in processing the leave for two players could see them miss the cut for the Champions Challenge I hockey tournament in Kuantan from April 26-May 4.
Kelvinder Singh and Hafifihafiz Hanafi were recalled to the national team last month but have yet to report for training as they have yet to get their leave matters sorted out.
The Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) are now working on it and hope to clear the matter as soon as possible.
“Up to last week, they have yet to report for training. As such, I am unable to tell if they will feature in the Champions Challenge I. I need all the players to attend training and take part in the six friendlies with China from April 13-19,” said national coach K. Dharmaraj.
“I will select the players based on their performances in the friendlies. If the two players are unable to make it, then we will leave them out,” he added.
Kelvinder and Hafifihafiz were dropped from the team a year ago. Kelvinder had joined the police and had to undergo training while Hafifihafiz had undergone rehabilitation due to an injury.
But a spate of injuries and pullouts in the squad forced the national team management to recall the two players.
If Kelvinder and Hafifihafiz are unable to make the squad for the Champions Challenge I, their chances of making the World Cup squad will be rather slim.
Meanwhile, Ismail Abu has recovered from his injury and has been given the all-clear to start training.
Nabil Fiqri Mohamed Nor, however, has no such luck. He recovered from a knee problem only to be hit by a calf injury and is now undergoing rehabilitation.
“We are monitoring Nabil closely and hope it is not very serious. He could be back in training in a few days’ time. As for defender Mohamed Razie Rahim, he is still injured. He is expected to undergo a medical examination this week to see whether his shoulder injury has healed.
“We do not want to rush him as he is an important member of the team. The doctors will decide if he is fit enough to start training,” said Dhamaraj.
Razie dislocated his shoulder in February while playing in the Hockey India League.
After the Champions Challenge I, Dhamaraj’s team will turn their attention to the World Cup in The Hague, Holland, from May 30-June 15. Besides these two major meets, the team’s other major assignments this year are the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in July and the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in September.