No injured Amri against Juventus
At 5pm yesterday, the Singapore Selection side created history when they became the first football team to train at the new National Stadium.
But coach Bernd Stange was missing two players from his 21-man squad that will take on Juventus in a glamour friendly tomorrow evening.
Singapore skipper Shahril Ishak had just represented Johor Darul Ta'zim II in a 4-0 Malaysia Cup defeat by Pahang on Wednesday and was still on his way back from Kuantan.
And unknown to many, LionsXII striker Khairul Amri was absent because he was nursing a facial fracture suffered during their 0-0 Malaysia Cup draw with Felda United at Jalan Besar Stadium on Wednesday.
Despite lasting the full match, Amri had fractured his right cheekbone in the ninth minute after clashing with Felda United midfielder Ahmad Syamim Yahya's elbow.
The 29-year-old will definitely miss the Juventus friendly, and most probably next Tuesday's Malaysia Cup match against Pahang as well.
Speaking to The New Paper yesterday, Amri said: "I was following the ball and then bang! I can only describe the impact like stepping on and crushing an empty drink can.
"I blacked out and started bleeding from both nostrils. We managed to stop the bleeding, and the doctor advised me not to carry on, but I really wanted to help the team win the game.
"Now the right side of my face really hurts like a bad toothache and I can't breathe through my right nostril because of the swelling. I also constantly feel like falling asleep and that's not a good sign.
"It's disappointing to miss the Juventus game, but I'm more worried that I will miss the important Malaysia Cup game against Pahang.
"I'll go have another check-up tomorrow, and hopefully I won't be out for too long."
With the striker facing a break of anywhere between one week and three months, Stange is left with Courts Young Lions star Sahil Suhaimi, Miroslav Pejic and Nicolas Velez as his forward options.
- DAVID LEE