Tan Cheng Hoe will have to make do without three players for the upcoming friendly against Sri Lanka while retaining hope that the trio can recover in time to face Kyrgyzstan on 16 October in Melaka.
Malaysia national team will depart for Colombo on Wednesday night with a squad of 22 players after Akram Mahinan, Rawilson Batuil and Nor Hakim Hassan had to be left out due to injuries.
The trio of players were in the original call-up list released on 2 October but their enforced absence now means that Tan had to add in Kelantan's Nik Akif Syahiran at the last minute.
Akram has been a mainstay of Tan's midfield and the Kedah midfielder had been starting the last few matches at the based of midfield. Sabah's Rawilson also started the last game and put in a commendable performance in the win at Phnom Penh.
However, mindful of Nik Akif's upcoming participation with the U19 team in the 2018 AFC U19 Championship in Indonesia that kicks off a couple of days after the second friendly against Kyrgyzstan, Tan is already planning to only use him sparingly in the two matches.
The away game against Sri Lanka is the continuation of Malaysia's preparation for the 2018 AFF Suzuki Cup and Tan will be hoping to maintain the winning momentum achieved in the last match against Cambodia.