KUALA LUMPUR: Forward Mohamed Rodhanizam is out of the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament.
Rodhanizam was among the four players in the squad of 22 for four Test matches ahead of the tournament who had to undergo fitness training yesterday.
But Rodhanizam, who was in the team for the World Cup and Asian Games last year, failed to turn up.
A letter from his doctor was handed to the team management.
He contracted viral fever when in training with the team in Malacca last week and he has been advised to rest for at least another four days.
Coach Paul Lissek said that Rodhanizam would not be considered for selection for the tournament, which begins in Ipoh on Saturday. The team management has now called up to join them for the matches instead.
It is better that we let him rest. We have called up Mohamed Ikmal Jabar to join the team for the Test matches, said Lissek.
Kelantan youngster Wan Mohamed Asyrizal, who was involved in a motorcycle accident last week, was among the three players who showed up for the fitness training yesterday.
Lissek said that the 20-year-old Wan Mohamed was fit enough to feature in the Test matches and so were Chairil Anwar and Shaiful Azli.
It is encouraging to learn that they are available for the matches.
We will give all of them the chances to play and to win places in the final squad for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament, he said.
Lissek also said that he would not push the players too hard in the Test matches.
I cannot risk having any of the experienced players getting injured in these matches. We have several objectives in playing these matches and they are more important than the results, he said.
New rules will be experimented in the tournament and we will use in the Test matches to see how we cope with them. If there are problems, we will have time to fix them before we play in the tournament.
Malaysia played the first of their three Test matches against Pakistan yesterday. They also have another Test match lined up against South Korea and are making arrangements for a friendly against Germany.
Besides the three foreign teams, the others who will feature in the tournament in Ipoh are India and New Zealand.