Dubai: The UAE’s star player Omar Abdul Rahman is almost certainly out of January’s Asian Cup after Tuesday’s scan confirmed fears that he had torn the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
The Al Hilal and former Al Ain midfielder was left crying on the bench after coming off injured against Al Shabab in the Riyadh derby in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
Scans were delayed due to swelling, but when it finally did take place, Al Hilal tweeted: “Following medical tests carried out on Al Hilal’s UAE player Omar Abdul Rahman, he has been diagnosed with an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear, and the operation appointment will be determined later.”
The UAE play India, Bahrain and Thailand in Group A of their Asian Cup hosting from January 5 to February 1. However, with the recovery time of ACL surgery taking anywhere between two to six months, there’s virtually no chance of him making the tournament.
Omar has played a major role in his country’s progress over the past six years, qualifying for the Olympics in 2012, winning the Gulf Cup in 2013 and finishing third at the last Asian Cup in 2015.
It now remains to be seen how the national team will fare in the 2019 Asian Cup, as even before Omar’s injury they were heading into the competition decidedly under par with just one win in the last eight matches.