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The experienced midfielder could possibly miss the important Cup competition as he is yet to recuperate from a knee injury…

East Bengal, who are placed in group B of the Federation Cup alongside Sporting Clube de Goa, Bengaluru FC and Rangdajied United, will have to make do without the services of Mehtab Hossain as the medio is recovering from a knee injury suffered in the derby clash against Mohun Bagan in November last year.

While the player was seen regularly practicing at the East Bengal ground alongside youngsters since the I-League went into a break, he has yet to recuperate completely which was further confirmed when he could play only for 71 minutes against Army XI in a Calcutta Football League tie.

“I don’t think Mehtab will be able to play in the Federation Cup. It’s imperative for a player to be match fit. So, in Mehtab’s case, his match fitness might be questioned even if he has recovered fully from the injury,” coach Armando Colaco told The Telegraph.

However should the Red and Gold make it into the knockout stages of the competition after being placed in arguably what can be termed as the group of death, Mehtab could be registered for the tournament if he regains his fitness by then.

“I feel he should be okay by then. There’s still some time to go though,” he said.

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