Philippine National Football Team standout Simone Rota will miss the upcoming group stage of the 2016 ASEAN Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup because of knee injury.
Rota, who for the past months has been nursing a small tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) of his right knee, has undergone surgery on Thursday and was advised by his physician to rest for six to seven months.
“I will be out for six or seven months but hopefully I will be ready for the next season. I tried to play through my injury but it did not work so I have to undergo surgery,” Rota said in an interview.
The 31-year-old defender’ injury worsened during the Stallion FC vs JP Voltes FC match in the United Football League on August 20 that ended in a scoreless draw.
Rota said that he is disappointed missing the chance to play in the Suzuki Cup that will be held in the Philippines.
“Getting an injury is part of playing hard on the pitch. Obviously I’m disappointed that I will be missing the chance to play the first time that a big tournament will come in the Philippines,” he added.
On the other hand, the Filipino-Italian booter said that he hopes to fully recover in time for the Asian Cup qualifiers early next year.
“My goal is to be able to play for the next qualifiers of the Azkals and the next tournaments of my club,” Rota added.
Consequently, the Philippine Azkals will be playing against Singapore in their opening game in this year’s Southeast Asian Championship on November 19 at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bocaue Bulacan.
The Philippines needs to hurdle Indonesia and defending champion Thailand in the preliminary round to snatch the top spot in Group A.