Faisal expected to be discharged soon and could return to action in three to six months

Good strike: Faisal Halim (right) scoring Malaysia’s first goal past South Korea goalkeeper Jo Hyeon-woo during an Asian Cup Group E match on Jan 25. — AFP

PETALING JAYA: Acid attack victim Faisal Halim can expect to be discharged from hospital before the week is over and make a return to football in three to six months after undergoing his fourth surgery.

It i nvolved taking skin from Faisal’s thighs to graft onto his face and the national footballer is recovering well from the procedure.

Faisal received skin allograft treatment very early and this aided his rapid recovery.

The nippy winger was also lucky that the skin graft managed to cover 100 per cent of the wounds, and laser and stem cell treatment would be considered if needed.

“Faisal was admitted on May 5. It has been almost three weeks and he has gone through four procedures. The first and second surgeries were to clear the acid on his arm, face, and left side of the body,” said Shahril in a press conference in Shah Alam yesterday.

“The third surgery was for the skin allograft from Belgium, which was used on his hand and body except for his face. The fourth surgery took more time. The first three surgeries took three to four hours but the last one took six hours.

“Split skin grafting surgery was done in the fourth surgery, with skin taken from several parts of his body. The procedure went well, it’s his rezeki.

“The specialist will monitor him and then we will know when Faisal will be discharged. I believe it will be in the next few days.

“Some might say Faisal’s progress is very fast but it’s due to two reasons.

“The specialist doctors used new technology, and the skin allograft, which usually takes two weeks to obtain, was acquired in 48 hours.

“If it had arrived slower, the outcome would have been different.

“Team doctor Hazwan (Khair) will work with the National Sports Institute (NSI) and specialists for Faisal’s return to football. Based on the doctor’s assessment, Faisal can return in three to six months but I hope he can return faster.”

Faisal suffered fourth degree burns after he was splashed with sulfuric acid by two unknown assailants on May 5 at a shopping centre in Damansara.

Meanwhile, Selangor team doctor Hazwan said Faisal escaped major muscle injuries and there should be no problem for the 26-year-old player to make a full recovery.

There were concerns earlier that Faisal’s injuries could end his football career due to the acid burns on his muscles.

“Only the skin layers were affected. The muscle injury is not critical, it can be rebuilt and there are no issues with mobility for the time being. We will focus on his rehab,” he added.

“He’s responding well to the grafting, and the wounds are healing well.

“The acid impacted the first three allografts, but there’s no more acid impact for the fourth surgery.”

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