The 97th placed Indian national football team is set to play another International friendly after playing the goalless draw against China last month. This time, the Blue Tigers will lock horns with Jordan on November 17, 2018. However, what comes as a big blow for the Indian team is that their most capped player Sunil Chhetri will not be travelling with them to the King Abdullah II International Stadium in Amman.
It is a historic occasion as this is only the first time the senior teams of the two nations are clashing in a friendly encounter.
Indian fans will be distraught to know that their talisman Sunil Chhetri is set to miss the tie after he picked up an ankle injury in the ISL fixture against Kerala Blasters. The news has been confirmed by an AIFF official.
Chhetri injured himself after he slotted the ball home past Naveen Kumar immediately after which Sandesh Jhinghan threw in a desperate tackle to prevent the goal. Post this incident, the Bengaluru skipper was not moving as swiftly but still played out the rest of the game. He certainly felt the niggle after that tackle as indicated by his movement on the field.
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The 34-year-old has a grade one injury and is expected to be out of action for some time. The AIFF confirmed the injury to the iconic striker on Monday.
Indian National Team physiotherapist Gigy George said: "The BFC Medical Team have shared the MRI reports and medical assessments and we have scrutinised them thoroughly. Sunil needs rest of around two weeks and proper rehabilitation after which he can get back to training."
Shervin Sheriff, Doctor, Indian National Team, added: "He can't travel with this injury as it's a weight-bearing joint. He needs to have proper rest along with the rehab programme for a speedy recovery. We are closely monitoring the situation and following it up with the club medical team and Sunil himself."
It will now be up to the discretion of Constantine who he would be taking in place of the prolific striker. With Jeje not in the best of form, the gaffer will need to assess which player is going to provide the goals. India are playing these friendly encounters in a bid to prepare themselves ahead of the AFC Asian Cup in UAE, where they have been placed in Group A alongside UAE, Thailand, and Bahrain.
Another benefit of playing the friendly against Jordan in Amman is that the weather and conditions are similar to what they will be in the UAE. The Blue Tigers will certainly miss the services of their star man and will have to go all guns blazing if they want to get past a strong Jordan side, which lost 1-2 to Croatia in a friendly recently and are ranked 112 by FIFA.Published 12 Nov 2018, 17:32 IST