Sahal Abdul Samad injured during friendly against Vietnam ahead of Kerala Blasters FC's ISL season opener

Sahal Abdul Samad has been a crucial player for Kerala Blasters FC.
Sahal Abdul Samad has been a crucial player for Kerala Blasters FC. (Image Courtesy: Twitter/@sahal_samad)

Indian national team midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad suffered an injury during their second international friendly in the Hung Thinh Tournament against Vietnam on Tuesday, September 27.

The Kerala Blasters FC (KBFC) star had to be substituted in the 38th minute of the game after he seemingly pulled a muscle.

The 25-year-old was quiet for most of the game before he made a bursting run into the opposition box and unleashed an effort at the Vietnamese keeper from the right.

After going through with the shot, Sahal immediately grabbed the back of his thigh in pain. Head coach Igor Stimac wasn't in the mood to risk the KBFC man and immediately took him off, bringing on his club teammate Rahul KP.

While there's been no update on the extent of Sahal's injury, Kerala Blasters fans will be praying for his quick recovery with bated breath.

The Yellow Army will start their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign against East Bengal at Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 7.

Since joining the Blasters ahead of the 2017-18 season, Sahal has grown into one of the most crucial and beloved players at the club. He's already the second-highest capped player in the KBFC squad.

Do Kerala Blasters FC have players who can slot into Sahal Abdul Samad's role in his absence?

For Kerala Blasters FC fans, the ultimate satisfaction will be to see Sahal fit and running for the ISL opener. However, with just 10 days left before the start of the season, the young midfielder might be racing against time.

Who can replace Sahal if he's out for the opening clash?

It will be an absolute headache for head coach Ivan Vukomanovic as the Yellow Army doesn't have a like-for-like replacement for Sahal. Neither do many players on the Indian circuit offer what the star midfielder can. However, Rahul KP, who replaced him in the game against Vietnam, could play a similar role for KBFC.

Meanwhile, youngster Givson Singh, who has been touted as a bright prospect in Indian football, could use the opportunity to rise to the occasion and make his presence felt for the Blasters. But for now, before any reports appear, fans will be hoping that Sahal will be as fit for the ISL opener.

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Edited by Samya Majumdar
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