Defence Force FC and Trinidad and Tobago defender Jamali Garcia is likely to miss the rest of the 2018 Pro League season after suffering a fractured tibia and dislocated ankle to his left leg during Friday’s First Citizens Cup group clash with Club Sando at Hasely Crawford Stadium.
Garcia, who went to ground on 13 minutes, had to be whisked off by ambulance before his team went on to defeat Club Sando 3-0 to advance into the semi-finals as Immortelle Group winners ahead of runners-up Central by a superior goal difference.
“My [immediate] thought was my ankle is broken,” the 26-year-old Garcia recalls. “I heard the crack. I’m not sure who tackled me but my foot was planted when it happened.
“From the ground I looked down to my ankle and saw it was in an unusual shape. Even more I thought, it’s broken.
X-rays done at St. James Medical Complex later revealed Garcia’s ankle was dislocated but his tibia was fractured and not broken as previously reported, but the defender could be out for six months, bringing a premature end to his 2018 season.
Garcia was later transferred to the Port of Spain General Hospital where his bones were moved back into place in the ankle area without surgery and an orthopaedic cast was done on his leg. He remains warded at the hospital awaiting further prognosis.
“I was told the doctor will be in tomorrow (Sunday) morning. So I’m waiting to have a better idea of how long I might be out (of action).
“This is a downer for me because as a footballer you want to always be playing. But I am confident I will do what’s necessary to return stronger.”
Defence Force have three wins from four games this season and Garcia believes his teammates can do the necessary to continue the “great start” to the season.
The Tetron Boys, coached by Marvin Gordon, are two wins away from a fourth First Citizens Cup and could know their semi-final opponents after today’s (Saturday) Abercrombie Group double-header at Ato Boldon Stadium with Police FC taking on Point Fortin Civic from 4pm and W Connection against Morvant Caledonia United from 6pm.