Saturday, 10 May 2014 | MYT 7:13 PM
Ismail gets the green light to play
Malaysia’ s Ismail Abu (bottom) tussling for the ball with New Zealander Alex Shaw during the Champions Challenge hockey tournament on May 1.
KUALA LUMPUR: Experienced forward Ismail Abu thought his hopes of featuring in the World Cup, which begins in The Hague on May 31, was over after he suffered a hamstring injury in the recent Champions Challenge 1 tournament in Kuantan.
But to the Jengka-born player’s relief, the doctor informed him that his injury was not serious.
Ismail did not feature in the bronze medal playoff against Ireland last Sunday, which Malaysia won 4-2.
Ismail said he was initially worried the injury would ruin his dream of featuring in his first World Cup.
“I am prone to injuries. I was out of action for seven months last season after suffering a knee injury.
“Three months ago, I aggravated the knee injury during training in February. It took me more than a month to recover,” said Ismail.
“I was full of apprehension when I went for a medical check-up at the ISN (National Sports Institute) on Thursday. Luckily, the doctor told me it was just a minor hamstring injury and I should recover in a couple of days. I will start training on Monday,” said Ismail, who has represented Malaysia 192 times since making his debut in 2002.
“It’s my dream to play in the World Cup since I took up hockey as a young boy. I turned 30 last month and this is my last chance to play in the World Cup. My performance in the Champions Challenge 1 was satisfying as I scored two goals in five matches. Now, I have to train much harder to seal a place in the World Cup squad,” he added.