Al-Hilal star Carlos Eduardo set to return after serious injury

Carlos Eduardo is all smiles again after it was announced he has recovered from a serious knee problem. (@Alhilal_EN)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Al-Hilal star Carlos Eduardo set to return after serious injury

  • Brazilian has been out since November
  • Al-Hial set to welcome him back for pre-season

Whoever turns out to be Al-Hilal’s new manager will be boosted by the news that star midfield Carlos Eduardo has been declared fit to start pre-season.
The Brazilian playmaker has been out since November after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the first leg of last year’s AFC Champions League final. He underwent surgery in Brazil and missed the rest of the season.
Al-Hilal struggled badly without him, suffering a shock King’s Cup exit, crashing out of this year’s AFC Champions League at the group stage and crawling over the line in the Saudi Pro League by a point. He has scored 50 goals for the Riyadh giants since joining in the summer of 2015 and scored seven in last year’s AFC Champions League. He linked up particularly well with Omar Khribin, the Syrian striker who wasn’t quite the same force without his Brazilian sidekick.
But the good news for Al-Hilal fans is that Eduardo is well on the road to recovery and a tweet from the club’s English language Twitter account said he will join in “pre-season preparations next Friday after completing his recovery and rehab programs.”
In the absence of a new manager, another tweet said pre-season would be “directed” by head coach Juan Brown, fitness coach Abdulaziz Al-Dawsari and goalkeeping coach Dan Zdranca.
Team manager Fahad Al-Mefarej is heading to Italy, along with the team administrator Waleed Al-Qassem, to choose a suitable location in Italy or Austria for the pre-season training camp.
In another injury news, midfielder Ahmad Ashraf “will start his recovery and rehab process next Friday” after surgery on his lower abdominal muscles while defender Abdullah Al-Hafith is making “significant progress” in his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
With the playing squad and pre-season preparations taking shape, the Al-Hilal board now need to step up their search for a new manager. Quique Sanchez Flores and Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca have turned down the chance to coach the Saudi Pro League champions while talks with Sporting manager Jorge Jesus are thought to be ongoing. It is understood that a salary in excess of €6 million ($7 million) has been made available for the right candidate.


Australia destroyer Abbas shoots to third in Test rankings

Updated 21 October 2018
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Australia destroyer Abbas shoots to third in Test rankings

  • Abbas has taken 59 wickets in his 10 matches
  • He also became the joint second-fastest Pakistani to take 50 wickets — a mark he shares with legendary paceman Waqar Younis and Shabbir Ahmed

DUBAI: Pakistan fast bowler Mohammad Abbas rose to number three in the Test bowling rankings on Sunday following his 17 wickets in the series against Australia in the United Arab Emirates.
The 28-year-old took 10 for 95 to help Pakistan to their biggest Test win — a 373-run hammering of Australia — in the second Test in Abu Dhabi on Friday, giving them a 1-0 series win. He took seven wickets in the drawn first Test in Dubai.
The new International Cricket Council (ICC) rankings see Abbas shoot to third from 14th and he is now behind only England’s James Anderson and South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada.
Abbas has taken 59 wickets in his 10 matches and became the joint second-fastest Pakistani to take 50 wickets during the second Test — a mark he shares with legendary paceman Waqar Younis and Shabbir Ahmed.
Pakistan’s leg-spinner Yasir Shah was the fastest to reach 50 wickets, taking just nine Tests.