KUALA LUMPUR: Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL) defender Shazrul Imran Nazli has been ruled out of the Malaysia Hockey League (MHL) this season following a serious injury to his left heel.
The 26-year-old from Perak has suffered a complete rupture of his left Achilles following a medical examination on Tuesday.
Shazrul suffered the injury during a warm-up session for the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup quarter-final clash against TNB-Thunderbolt at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil last week.
UniKL coach A. Arulselvaraj said Shazrul needs to undergo surgery.
“After surgery, Shazrul needs to undergo physiotherapy and rehabilitation to ensure adequate and optimal recovery that is expected between six months to one year,” said Arul.
UniKL have registered 14 local and six foreign players for the league.
Following the injury to Shazrul, the university team are likely to play with a player less in the league.
Shazrul, who has been a key player in UniKL since 2011, was at the stadium watching teammates training for the MHL Charity Shield match against Terengganu tomorrow at the Batu Buruk Hockey Stadium in Kuala Terengganu.
“I’m deeply shattered due to the injury. The doctor has advised surgery and I’ve been told that it will take about six months to a year for full recovery,” said a disappointed Shazrul.
“I was looking forward to the MHL season. I hope my teammates play their best in the league,” he added.
This is the second time in his hockey-playing career that Shazrul suffered a serious injury.
The last time was during a friendly match against South Korea at the National Hockey Stadium in Bukit Jalil when the ball struck his right knee that resulted in a hairline fracture.
UniKL only had the services of Australian Timothy Deavin for the Tan Sri P. Alagendra Cup and they lost to Tenaga Nasional 3-0 in the semi-finals last week.
Three of the UniKL foreign players will arrive today for the Charity Shield match against Terengganu and they are Ireland captain and goalkeeper David Harte, Kieran Govers of Australia and Holland’s Martijn Havenga.
The remaining two Dutch players Valentin Verga and Robbert Kemperman, who played in the final of the World Cup in Bhubaneswar, India, last month, will only arrive tomorrow and will miss the Charity shield match.
Last year UniKL, powered by six foreigners, won their first TNB Cup (overall cup) last year.