Kedah will have to make do without the service Halim Saari for the rest of the 2017 campaign after the midfielder suffered a season-ending injury in the FA Cup semi-final first leg against Terengganu on Sunday night.
The 22-year-old midfielder went down injured in the first half of that match and further test done since has shown that he has suffered an injury to his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Halim will require surgery and recuperation that is estimated to take at least seven months.
This comes as a big blow for Kedah as Halim has been a mainstay in the team in the past month with assured performances in central midfield alongside Akram Mahinan and Liridon Krasniqi.
With another midfielder in Amirul Hisyam also on a long absence due to a thigh injury suffered in an earlier FA Cup match against Perak, temporary head coach Nidzam Adzha will have to find a solution amongst his squad to fill the void left by Halim.
One of the options is national player, Fakri Saarani who can operate both in midfield and in a forward position. The 27-year-old will have the first chance to stake a claim for a starting place beginning with Kedah's Super League match against PKNS FC on 9 May.
Kedah currently sits in third spot in the Super League standings, six points behind leaders Johor Darul Ta'zim