By LERPONG AMSA-NGIAM
The 25-year-old Consadole Sapporo midfielder sustained an injury to his left leg during training in Japan and was advised by the doctor to take a week’s break. Subsequently he had to withdraw from the 47th King’s Cup friendly tournament, which will be played from June 5-8 at the Chang Arena in Buri Ram province.
“I felt pain while I was training on Tuesday,” said Chanathip, who won the Best 11 Award of the J-League last season. “At first it was not bad and I kept practising. But after that it got worse and I had to have two check-ups to find out if I had torn a muscle on the left leg. I have to rest for at least a week.”
Chanathip, however, is allowed by his club to return home for a break but on condition that he withdraw from the King’s Cup team.
“Actually I intended to force myself to play on June 1 [Saturday against Frecce Hiroshima] because I wanted to show the club that if I can still play, I may come home to play for Thailand. But after talks with the club, I’m not allowed to play as they don’t want me to take further risks,” added Chanathip, who will miss the chance of earning his 53rd cap. The diminutive player, who stands 158cms tall, admitted that he was disappointed at not being fit to join the friendly which also features Vietnam, Curacao and India.
“It’s a shame as I really want to help the team. I miss the cheers from fans and the chance to play with |my fellow teammates,” added Chanathip, who has scored seven goals from 52 appearances with the national team. “I’m sorry that I can be of no use this time. But my support is always with the team. I want everyone to believe that they can conquer anything, even this tough tournament. I believe they can make it happen,” he said.
The King’s Cup, an FA-sanctioned International A Match, will start with the game between India and Curacao at 3.30pm on Wednesday followed by the Thailand-Vietnam showdown at 7.45pm The winners will play the final next Saturday.