I-League 2017: Yusa Katsumi doubtful ahead of Neroca FC clash
What's the story?
After a sloppy start to the season, East Bengal have finally found their winning touch and has scripted back to back four wins in the ongoing I-League. The team hit the road Thursday for four away matches, and there were doubts surrounding their star midfielder Yusa Katsumi, who picked up an injury during the previous game against Gokulam Kerala FC.
However, the Japanese medio has travelled along with the 18-man squad, with the club hoping that he will be fit in time to play some of the matches.
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East Bengal won their tie against Gokulam FC on Wednesday after they edged past the visitors by a solitary goal from Mohammad Rafique in the 44th minute. Early in the second half, Gokulam’s forward Rohit Mirza committed a rough tackle on Katsumi in which the latter got injured. Rohit was shown a red card, while Katsumi was benched due to injury.
The heart of the matter
Despite the injury, however, Katsumi has travelled to Imphal with the team, and could feature in the upcoming games for Khalid Jamil's sides, an East Bengal official confirmed to Sportskeeda.
"There's nothing major about Katsumi's injury. We expect him to be back in action soon enough. That is why he has travelled with the team," said the senior official.
However, the Japanese star's participation depends on the go-ahead from the doctors, as he is yet to fully recover from the injury.
East Bengal will be up against NEROCA FC on the December 30, followed by the Arrows tie on the 2nd day of the New Year. With a tight schedule coming up, it will be interesting to see whether coach Khalid Jamil risks his Japanese star.
Khalid Jamil came under the scanner after the first two rounds of the I-League, but the I-League winning coach answered all the critics with back to back wins. But the real test begins now when they play away matches, especially with their star midfielder in doubt.