Phobia of injury forces Turtles winger Syafik to go slow and steady

PETALING JAYA: Eight months of enduring an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury have been traumatising for Terengganu winger Mohd Syafik Ismail.

The 23-year-old Syafik is relieved and happy to be back in training and playing again, but he revealed that he now has a ‘’phobia’’ about suffering a recurrence of the injury.

Therefore, he gets a bit fearful when it comes to making sudden movements or tackles.

Syafik sustained the ACL injury during Terengganu’s FA Cup campaign in May last year when it was confirmed that the extent of it was stage three.

Thus, he had to undergo a long and arduous rehabilitation and recovery process.

“It was a dark episode in my career. I had to forget the rest of the matches in the league and cup for eight months. Imagine being robbed of one of your greatest joys,” said the former national Under-23 player.

This season, he has made three substitute appearances in the Super League and is slowly regaining his confidence.

Syafik said Turtles coach Tomislav Steinbruckner has been helping him to deal with his fears of getting injured again.

“He told me to face my fears, and to do that, I just have to get on the field and play my game. Coach Tomi said to me ‘when you love football, it will love you back.’

“”Also, my loved ones are giving me strong support. My mother, my wife and my in-laws always keep motivating me to return to the game.’’

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