Bad start to the new year for Shahrul

IPOH: Perak skipper Ahmad Shahrul Azhar has hit the crock list even before the start of the team’s Premier I title defence this season. 

The former international midfielder sprained his left ankle during a friendly game against Thang Kiang Nam, a second division outfit, at the Municipal padang here on Wednesday. 

Perak assistant coach Mohamed Zakaria Mohamed said Shahrul could hardly put his left foot on the ground. 

“The injured ankle also almost immediately started to swell and I was prepared for the worst,” said Zakaria. 

Fortunately, Zakaria said, a check-up at the hospital showed it was only a sprain. 

“It was a big relief to know there was no fracture. Shahrul will be out for two to three weeks.” 

The injury has thrown a spanner in Perak coach Toni Netto’s plans for their training-cum-playing tour of Portugal beginning either on Jan 17 or 19. 

Perak will already be without no-nonsense rightback Rushanizam Idrus, who has been ruled out of action for six months with a torn ligament and meniscus on his right knee.  

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