Phil on track to recovery

Phil Younghusband | Photo by Jan Aliling
By Bong Pedralvez

FILIPINO-BRITISH striker Phil Younghusband’s rehabilitation of his torn right hamstring is on track, according to Azkals fitness coach Sepp Malinay.

“He (Younghusband) has begun strengthening workouts on his hamstring, aqua therapy and core training,” Malinay said yesterday of the 24-year-old national team mainstay, who suffered the injury in the Azkals’ 1-2 loss to Mongolia in the return match of their Asian Challenge Cup qualifying series in Ulan Bator early last month.

This forced Younghusband to miss the four-nation ACC group tournament in Myanmar later last month where the nationals advanced to the main draw after finishing second behind Palestine with one win and two draws.

“Phil has three hours of therapy thrice a week on his hamstring. He’s young so he is recovering fast,” he added.

Malinay disclosed that in a recent check-up with noted St. Luke’s sports doctor Randy Molo, Younghusband claimed he was no longer feeling any pain. His hamstring was examined through an ultrasound to see if it was healing normally.

Malinay said the “core training” is meant “to enable Younghusband to regain his balance, strength and agility.

By month’s end, Malinay said they intend to make Younghusband run so he would be able to join his teammates once conditioning camp begins early next month.

“We’re trying to push Younghusband to resume running and field practice after the Holy Week so he won’t lag behind when we begin our conditioning training in May,” he said.

To kick off the Philippine team’s training for its Asian World Cup opening round playoffs against Sri Lanka, a two-week fitness camp-cum-tryouts is scheduled on May 9-26, possibly at the Alabang Country Club, according to Malinay.

This will be followed by a recreational camp on May 27-June 2 in Cebu where the Azkals will be joined by their respective families.

The next phase on June 7-18 will be an intensive training involving practice matches with overseas clubs that, depending on final negotiations by the Philippine Football Federation, could be held either in the Middle East or Australia.

Coach Hans Michael Weiss, in an earlier interview, said he hopes that by this stage he would have trimmed his squad to the final 23-man roster.

The nationals will fine-tune their play on June 21-27 before leaving the next day to face the Sri Lankans in the first game of the home-and-away series in Colombo on June 29. Source