Striker Shrestha ruled out

Kathmandu, March 9

Star striker Nawayug Shrestha has pulled out of the national football team training because of injury.

The Tribhuvan Army Club forward Shrestha left the closed-camp training a couple of days ago after coach Gyotoku Koji and physio Raju Dahal advised him to take rest. Nepal are preparing for the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers first-leg match against the Philippines slated for Mach 28.

Shrestha injured his left knee while playing for his club in domestic tournaments and was yet to get fully fit. “I am not sure when did I hurt the knee. But I played in a couple of tournaments despite the pain as I thought it was a minor injury,” said Shrestha.

“I went to doctor three weeks ago after the pain troubled me for a long time and discovered a small crack in a bone. I was under support for two weeks and went for physiotherapy but the pain is still there,” he added. “I withdrew from the training camp upon the advice of physiotherapist and coach.” Shrestha said the moment of withdrawal was more painful than the injury. “It feels bad as I had to pull out. I will make a comeback once I am fully fit.”

Shrestha was the key figure in Nepal’s victory in the Bangabandhu Gold Cup, 12th South Asian Games and AFC Solidarity Cup last year. He made the national team debut from the Bangabandhu Gold Cup in Bangladesh where he scored four goals and also won the best player’s award.

Shrestha netted seven goals including two hat-tricks in the SA Games in India and scored one goal in the AFC Solidarity Cup.