Doctor in quarantine leaves keeper in a lurch

PETALING JAYA: The Covid-19 pandemic has not only disrupted sports worldwide but also the healing process of Perak football goalkeeper Hafizul Hakim.

The 27-year 1.86m tall Hafizul is unable to seek treatment for his knee injury because his doctor is in quarantine following exposure to the virus.

The Chemor-born injured his left knee last year and thought he had only picked up a minor injury but he ended up being plagued by pain.

He had to skip the Seladang’s four Super League matches this year.

“I injured my knee during the Malaysia Cup last September but played for the national team after that. I didn’t think it was serious back then. I thought it was just meniscus tear,” said Hafizul.

“But after a couple of weeks the pain was still there. The team doctor said I had to do an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) to check further.”

“I’m stuck now because my doctor is under quarantine. And I have not done the MRI. I think it’s just my bad luck.

“I see most injured players are using the movement control order (MCO) to recuperate from surgery or injuries but I’m stuck.”

The MCO was imposed from March 18 to April 14 to curb the Covid-19 pandemic. All football league matches in Malaysia have been stopped.

“Despite the setback, I’m still training. I have been working on strengthening my knee muscles so if I need surgery, I can recover quickly.”

Perak are now banking on their third choice custodian – Nasrullah Aziz – as second choice Khairul Amri Salehuddin is also nursing a knee injury.

Hafizul said youngster Nasrullah had done well leaving Perak unbeaten with two wins and two draws in four matches in the Super League so far.

“I had big plans for this year which is to help Perak to do well and also be a regular with the national team but I ended with an injury and now I have to be patient,” said Hafizul.

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