Borromeo injury leaves big gap in Azkals defense

By Olmin Leyba

The Philippine Azkals may have to plug in a huge hole in the central defense when they go back to camp in January as team captain Aly Borromeo suffered an ACL injury that could sideline him for six months.

Borromeo hurt his knee during Kaya Cignal FC’s 3-2 win over Victory Liner Diliman last Saturday in the United Football League Cup at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

According to Philippine Football Federation president Nonong Araneta, MRI test on Borromeo confirmed the ACL injury, which puts in doubt the status of the veteran defender for the Azkals’ eventual campaign in the 2012 AFC Challenge Cup in March 2012.

“It depends on how soon he’ll recover. But if he can’t make it in time for the AFC Challenge Cup, we have to look for other defenders to fill up the slack,” said Araneta.

The PFF chief is monitoring the situation from Laos, where he’s attending the AFF Women’s Championship.

Borromeo also tore his ACL in the AFF Championships in January 2007 in Thailand, but came back to produce a string of solid performances in the 2008 AFC Challenge Cup in Iloilo and the 2008 AFF Qualifiers in Cambodia.

Borromeo, for his part, promised to be back.

“Thank u for all the warm messages and support guys… I’ll be back out there in no time!” he posted on Twitter yesterday.

The Azkals are on a break after beating Nepal, 4-0, in a Fifa-sanctioned friendly and players have since returned to their respective clubs both here and abroad. Published in The Philippine Star