Midfielder Đỗ Hùng Dũng has been called up to the Việt Nam national men’s football team. — Photo webthethao.vn

HÀ NỘI — Midfielder Đỗ Hùng Dũng has been called up to the Việt Nam national men’s football team despite the fact he is still recovering from a serious injury.

Although unlikely to feature in any of the matches in the coming months, the call-up is likely to boost morale and give the national team coaching squad an opportunity to assess the extent of his recovery.

Dũng broke his leg in the match between HCM City and Hà Nội in the V.League 1 2021 in March 2021 and he had to undergo surgery. Currently, he is getting back to full fitness at the Promotion Fund for Vietnamese Football Talent (PVF) Football Training Centre in the northern province of Hưng Yên.

He is expected to return to full training with his club in mid-November.

Coach Park Hang-seo wants to see for himself exactly how well the player is doing, so will call him up to the national team to directly monitor the treatment process. Previously, Park also called Nguyễn Trọng Hoàng and Đoàn Văn Hậu even though both those players hadn’t recovered fully after injury.

The AFF Cup 2021’s organisers expanded the list of players participating in each squad to 30, which would allow Park to directly see Dũng train to decide whether or not to use him for this tournament.

The AFF Cup 2021 will take place from December 5, 2021 to January 1, 2022.

Việt Nam are in group B with Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Laos. The Golden Dragons will play the first match with Laos on December 6.

Việt Nam are the defending champions, having claimed the title in 2018 after defeating Malaysia in the final. It was Việt Nam’s first AFF Cup title after 10 years.

Dũng, who won the Vietnamese Golden Ball 2019 award, is expected to be a key player of the national team in important international events.

“Through each stage, physiotherapists have helped me improve the sensation and mobility of my ankle. Each stage has advantages and disadvantages, but all make me feel much more stable. This is the last stage, the most important time, I can’t rush things and do not want a recurrence of my injury,” said Dũng.

“I can compete again in the V.League 1 2022. During the period of injury and the COVID-19 pandemic, I had time to review myself, explore, and gain more knowledge that I didn’t know before. This will help me after I recover from my injury and come back to the field. Also, I also fully enjoy this time with my family,” Dũng added.

According to doctors, playing with high intensity right now will greatly affect Dũng’s ability to fully recover. He still needs more time to recover.

Therefore, despite being summoned, experts say that it is almost certain that Dũng won’t be able to play at the AFF Cup or the World Cup qualifiers this month.

Therefore, returning to the Vietnamese team, according to experts, is probably just psychological therapy, helping the Hanoian midfielder to feel the team’s atmosphere and gain more confidence to regain his form after his terrible injury. — VNS

SportNews / Times24H


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