The in-form marksman hurt his right knee during the Fifa friendly against Nepal on November 17. An MRI report excluded him from the team plane the night before the flight two days later
Striker Nabib Newaz Jibon has made speedy progress from the knee injury to convince the coaches getting him a seat for flight to Qatar on Wednesday before visiting Bangladesh national team plays their first practice match in the afternoon at the middle-eastern county.
The in-form marksman hurt his right knee during the Fifa friendly against Nepal on November 17. An MRI report excluded him from the team plane the night before the flight two days later.
It was assumed initially from the report that he would be unavailable for at least three weeks and set to miss the crucial tie against the reigning Asian champions on December 4 but Jibon surprised with impressive recovery.
“I feel better from the pain after taking medicines. Now, I have to gain more strength on my leg,” said the Abahani forward who scored the opening goal of the two-game Fifa friendly series against Nepal.
Jibon informed that he had regular chats with physio Andre Juan Carle since they split up when the team leaves the country. Andre showed him some exercises over video call to observe updated condition.
“I couldn’t do those [exercises] at first but now I can do them. Andre informed the head coach who officially decided on me to join the team”, the 30-year-old added.
Jibon is versatile enough to feature for any position at the attacking third, especially, center-forward and behind the striker, where he is irreplaceable considering the current situation of the team in the absence of Bashundhara Kings duo Matin Mia and Masuk Mia Jonny.
Head coach Jamie Day, who is still isolated in Dhaka due to Covid-19, hopes to get the reliable forward for the Qatar game. He told Dhaka Tribune, “He is about 75% so seeing if we can get him close to hundred in ten days.”
Stuart Watkiss, the interim coach in charge, is busy elsewhere to prepare the underprepared team for the first warm-up match against Qatar Army team at the outer stadium of Aspire Academy on Wednesday at 2.30pm BST.
The opposition team is unknown to the Bangladesh players and not much information is available, said BFF’s deputy competition manager Hasan Mahmud over the phone.
“It’s a chance to get some organization among the team before going into the Qatar game,” said new goalkeeping coach Les Cleevely ahead of the friendly through a video message.
He added, “We are still trying to get full fitness. We still emphasis on hard working not only the game but also the organization and structure. I have no expectation on the result. The performance will detect how hard we worked.”
Bangladesh trained for one and half hour at the Aspire Zone Tuesday morning followed by gym session. They practiced passing drills, set-pieces and worked on match situation position wise, said left-back Rahmat Mia.
The team will play second-division club Lusail FC in the second warm-up match at the same venue on Saturday.