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Rufino Segovia

Rufino's injury woe a complicated situation, says Johan

07:05 EAT 08/01/2020
Rufino Segovia, Selangor, Afif Amiruddin, Pahang, Malaysia Cup, 11082018
Will star striker Rufino Segovia need to be replaced? Selangor secretary-general Johan Kamal Hamidon has the answer.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Selangor are confident that the injury woe befalling their star striker Rufino Segovia will not end up in the Spaniard being replaced before the 2020 season kicks off.

The 34-year old forward had been sidelined for most of the 2019 season due to an injury to his Achilles tendon, but seemingly recovered towards the end of the season, before joining the 2020 pre-season training. However, just one week in, reports surfaced that he was injured again.

His condition is currently being monitored, but no outright statement or announcement has been made by the club, amidst their fans' call for them to find another foreign striker to replace the 2018 Malaysia Super League top-scorer.

According to association secretary-general Johan Kamal Hamidon, the Spaniard has not been injured in pre-season training. Instead, his predicament is a continuation of the 2019 injury, with the damage proving to be a more permanent one than initially thought.

"It's not a straightforward situation because the injury is quite complex. Even when he's fit [again] he will oonly be at 80, 90 per cent as compared to his previous self.

"Our physiotherapist Helber [Richard] is working hard on getting him back in shape and wants Rufino to make sure he's ready. Helber has told me that there is progress and he needs to continue working hard. According to Helber, Rufino's calf muscle will never be the same because he has lost his range of motions in his left Achilles tendon."

Johan is however is of the belief that even if the striker is not as athletic as he had been previously, he will still be just as effective when he recovers again.

Johan Kamal. Photo by Malaysian Football League

"If you look at the way he has been playing, he's not a powerful nor pacy player. He's more technical and has good movement in the box, like Totti (AS Roma legend Francesco Totti). Looking at this aspect of his game, even if he's not at full 100 per cent of his old self, his playing will not be too affected by the injury. He's not as compromised as we thought he would be. He only needs a split second and he'll score you a goal.

"The diagnosis on him will not be a simple medical report. It would instead be on how everything is affecting what he does on the pitch. That is another judgment call that we need to make, but one that we can only make when he's ready to take to the pitch in a few weeks' time. However, there is a possibility that even at 80 per cent, his effectiveness may still be the same. That's something you can't tell now, especially when not everything in football concerns the physical aspects.

"We're monitoring his progress closely and he is getting better, so I don't think we should spend more money [by signing a replacement striker]," he declared when met by Goal on Tuesday.

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