Indian Football: Sandesh Jhingan set to miss ISL 2019-20
In a bitter blow to both the Indian National Football Team and Indian Super League (ISL) side Kerala Blasters, Sandesh Jhingan is likely to miss out on a whole season of football after tearing his anterior cruciate muscle (ACL), in the national team's friendly against NorthEast United FC at Guwahati, Goal India reported on Thursday.
The match, which ended 1-1, was arranged as the Blue Tigers prepare to welcome Bangladesh to the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on October 15, for their third match in Group E of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asia qualifiers.
Jhingan, who alongside Adil Khan, has formed a stable partnership at the heart of the defence for Igor Stimac, is now likely to be ruled out for several months after tearing his ACL while twisting his knee in an off-the-ball incident.
With away matches against Afghanistan and Oman scheduled next month in the World Cup qualifiers, this is a bitter blow to India's chances of getting positive results as they look to back up their sensational draw in Qatar last month.
Not just Stimac, Eelco Schattorie will also face the daunting prospect of going into the domestic season without India's best centre-back. Jhingan, who incidentally had the captaincy removed from him, was likely to form a partnership with Gianni Zuiverloon at the heart of the Kerala Blasters' defence.
The 26-year-old, who has played for the Blasters since the inception of the ISL, has now unfortunately been consigned to a watching brief for most of the season, if not all of it.
The 2019-20 ISL season begins on the 20th of October in Kochi, with the hosts Kerala Blasters taking on two-time champions ATK. It has also been reported that the Blasters may now seek to register another Indian player as Jhingan's replacement.