Sunday, July 17, 2005

El K out injured

Go away for a little over 24 hours and it all happens. Smertin signs up on a year's loan, although it looks as if he will have to be played regularly if we are to keep him, and the team wins 5-2 at Bournemouth with Jeffers popping up and scoring.

Less good news is that key defender Talal El Karkouri is out injured, possibly for as long as three months. The injury was sustained during Morocco's scoreless draw with Kenya in a World Cup and African Cup of Nations qualifier in Nairobi in June.

El K told a Moroccan paper, 'I felt a slight pain in my right knee when I tackled a Kenyan player just after the start of the game. The pain recurred in the second half, and I insisted to play on because there was no pressure on our defence.'

By the end of the game he was limping painfully. 'My knee was terribly aching after the final whistle, and I realised how serious it was only when I returned to London.' Medical staff at Sparrows Lane advised him to take a three weeks rest.

This is not the first time Charlton have suffered from international commitments, although it is part and parcel of being a bigger club. El K commented, 'It's very difficult for me, as it is for any player, to play incessantly for five years. I haven't had a fair rest for five consecutive years. That's crazy, isn't it.' Of the injury itself, he said, 'That's God's will.'

With reports that the Herminator has still not fully recovered from his injury at Villa at the end of last season, Charlton's defence could have a novel look at the start of the new season.


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