Defensive dynamo Atif Bashir received the worst news when he was told his injury was serious and requires surgery which rules him out for the rest of the season.
Bashir who plays for Barry Town made a positive start to the new season before picking up a knee injury in September. He was initially told he would recover within 6 weeks.
He resumed his fitness training late last month in order to get fit for the tour of Singapore with the national team having earlier been excluded from the squad to face the now-abandoned series against Palestine due to the injury.
While training Atif noticed his knee was still swollen and didn’t feel comfortable whilst training. He was refereed for a MRI scan which delivered the bad news: a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) requiring immediate surgery and months of subsequent rehabilitation.
Atif made his Pakistan debut in 2008 SAFF Cup and has not missed a single match for Pakistan in all competitions. His never die attitude and commitment to the team, coupled with an intimidating presence in defence, has earned him the nick name “Bulldozer” amongst the Greenshirts fans.
He is likely to miss the AFC Challenge Cup Qualifiers and 2013 South Asian Games in which he surely he would have been one of the overage players having earlier participated in the same event in 2010.
We wish Atif all the best with his surgery and speedy recovery.