National football team coach Kiatisak Senamuang is pleased that Theerathon Bunmathan’s injury was not as serious as initially feared and will be available for training later this month.
The Muangthong United left back was forced off the field 15 minutes into the Group E clash against Ulsan Hyundai FC in the AFC Champions League at the Ulsan Munsu Stadium.
The game ended goalless and it meant that the Thai League champions continued their unbeaten start to the campaign to stay just a point off the summit behind J-League giants Kashima Antlers.
The 27-year-old underwent a medical checkup shortly after his return from South Korea on Wednesday afternoon and the club’s doctor said he needed only two days' rest.
“It ‘s not as serious as we initially thought. His muscle was bruised from the kick. The bone is fine so we expect him to rest for two or three days before resuming training,” said Muangthong doctor Pornthep Mamanee.
Theerathon expressed confidence that he will be available for Thailand’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Saudi Arabia at home on March 23 and away to Japan five days later.
“I tried to continue after taking the knock. But it was painful and I felt some tightness. I had to come off. When I got back to the hotel, I immersed my body in warm water and the swelling reduced. I needed to check it again, though. I’ll try to look after myself to be ready for the Saudi fixture,” Theerathon said.
Kiatisak said Theerathon is strong physically and has the mental capacity to recover quickly. “It’s good news that Theerathon could join us at the training camp. I always believed in his physical strength. We need to give him time to rest and recuperate as suggested by the doctor,” said the former national striker.
Thailand, who start their training camp at the Kirin Valley in Nakhon Ratchasima from today until March 21, are at the bottom of Group B with only single point from five games in the last-12 team round of Asian qualifying for 2018 World Cup.