Rubcic's injury concern
After a five-week break for the Federation Cup, the national camp for the upcoming Asian Games resumed yesterday but coach Robert Rubcic was left sweating over injuries and fever to some of his players.
Both left-backs Atiqur Rahman Meshu and Wali Faisal are suffering from hamstring injuries, while midfielder Shahedul Alam is suffering from tendon injury. Defender Mamun Miah, striker Zahid Hasan Emily and winger Zahid Hossain have caught fever after the Federation Cup final that was played on October 30.
Zahid and Emily were absent from the opening day's light practice while Meshu, Wali, and Mamun watched from sidelines and Shahed jogged at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday. Shahed has been making good recovery after missing most of the Federation Cup through injury.
Physio Dolilur Rahman said they were not aware of players' injuries earlier and assessed the state of the injuries yesterday.
However, it was learnt that Meshu and Wali may miss the Asian Games as they need at least two weeks to recover from the injuries.
If Meshu and Wali fail to recover from their injuries before the first match against Uzbekistan on November 7, it will pose a big cause for concern for Rubcic, who would apparently have no other options and will have to think about playing central defender Rezaul Karim or Mintu Sheikh as left-back.
"Yes, it is a real concern if Meshu and Wali can't get well soon. Besides, there is a problem up front with Emily struggling to find the target," said Rubcic after a light training session.
Considering the performances in the Federation Cup, Rubcic has praised strikers Enamul Haq, Towhidul Alam Sabuj and winger Zahid Hossain for their tireless effort on the pitch.
"Leaving the injured and fever-hit players, I only have 15 players with six days in hand and I think it will be tough to do well in the Asiad," said the coach.
Following a hectic schedule which saw the national players spend more than a month at BKSP before going for club training and Federation Cup, Rubcic has designed the training camp that will have four sessions in the country and two more session in China.
Rubcic has also asked the players to shrug off the fatigue from the Federation Cup and concentrate on the Asiad.
"The coach has asked us to enjoy the training and remain free from tension," said Meshu, who played all seven games for Sheikh Jamal in the Federation Cup before sustaining injury during the final.
Bangladesh will take on United Arab Emirates on November 9 before playing against Hong Kong on November 11 as top two teams will qualify for the next round.
Rubcic's realisation is that Bangladesh will start the Asiad campaign as underdogs which may give the team an advantage in the tournament.