Goalkeeper S. Kumar is fit to play at the World Cup

National coach Roelant Oltmans has revealed that goalkeeper S. Kumar, who was down with a thumb injury, is fit to play at the World Cup in India on Nov 28-Dec 16.

“Kumar is now fully fit. He can now grip his hockey stick tightly, something which he could not a week ago,” said Oltmans.

Kumar suffered a nerve problem around his right thumb during the Indonesia Asian Games in August and even though he boarded the flight to Oman, he did not play a single match in the Asian Champions Trophy recently.

Dutch-born goalkeeper coach Martijn Drijver is in town and he is whipping Kumar back in shape.

“The injury has healed, now it only a matter of psychology for Kumar to forget about it and play like he normally does,” said Oltmans.

The coach also revealed that Malaysia will be ready to face World No 4 Netherlands in their opening World Cup match on Dec 1. The other teams in Group D are Germany and Pakistan.

“The Dutch side have very good players but I know their strengths and weaknesses.

“For sure, it will be a difficult match, but we will play to our own style, not theirs, and hopefully there would be openings which we can exploit during the match.

Malaysia and the Dutch last played in the 2007 Champions Trophy in Kuala Lumpur which the latter won 3-1.

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