Defender Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin (right) is down with viral fever, leaving his place in the team for the hockey World Cup, which begins in Holland on May 31, in doubt. - Filepic
KUALA LUMPUR: Defender Mohd Izad Hakimi Jamaluddin is down with viral fever, leaving his place in the team for the hockey World Cup, which begins in The Hague, Holland, on May 31, in doubt.
The Perak-born player, who featured in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh in March and the recent Champions Challenge I tournament in Kuantan, has been hospitalised since Tuesday.
The 22-year-old Izad, who has 43 international caps, said he had fever for a few days but his conditions got worse on Tuesday.
“I was admitted in a private hospital. Initially, I thought I was down with dengue fever,” said Izad, who is the younger brother of national goalkeeper Roslan Jamaluddin.
“They took my blood to check whether I had dengue fever. Luckily, it was negative. It was just a viral fever. I hope I will recover soon as I want to feature in the World Cup,” added Izad.
National coach K. Dharmaraj, who guided Malaysia to their first-ever bronze medal in the Champions Challenge I, is keeping his fingers crossed that Izad will recover in time to be included in his final 18-man squad on May 21.
“Izad played well in both the two tournaments this year. I need his services for the World Cup,” said Dharmaraj.
There are 30 players in the training squad and the team will leave for The Hague on May 23.
The good news for Dharmaraj is that defender Mohd Razie Abdul Rahim has recovered fully from his shoulder injury.
“Razie started his first training session on Monday. He is fine-tuning his penalty corner drag flicks. He is the country’s main defender and will feature in the World Cup,” said Dharmaraj.
Malaysia, playing in their first World Cup after a lapse of 12 years, will open their Group A campaign against defending champions Australia on May 31. Their other matches are against Belgium (June 2), England (June 5), India (June 7) and Spain (June 9).
Olympic champions Germany, New Zealand, South Korea, Argentina, South Africa and hosts Holland are in Group B.