Tue, Jul

whitley6Trinidad and Tobago midfielder Aurtis Whitley’s return to action could be an anticipated boost to the National Team for its next 2010 World Cup Qualifier against Guatemala in Guatemala City on October 11.
Whitley missed T&T’s three matches in the ongoing semi-final round because of a foot drop problem originating back to the week prior to T&T’s friendly international against Haiti in Port-Au-Prince last month. T&T team doctor Terence Babwah explained that foot drop is the term given to the injury where there is a nerve problem in the ankle originating from the side of the knee.

It presents a limp-like, weak foot that causes difficulty when walking or running. Causes of foot drop are numerous, but the most common cause is an injury to the peroneal nerve at the top of the calf behind the knee. Babwah said that proper treatment could result in a return to full fitness in three weeks time.

“I have started back light training at W Connection but I still cannot execute movement of the leg at full range,” Whitley told TTFF Media on Tuesday.

“It’s coming along. I still need some more treatment but I am expecting to be ready to rejoin the national team and be available for selection for the game against Guatemala.”

Whitley has his hopes pinned on the “Soca Warriors” being boosted by the return of some of the regular faces who were out through suspension or injury.

“Guatemala will be tough in Guatemala but I see no reason why we cannot beat them there. All things aside we will have to go there with a strong team and hopefully we will pull of the kind of performance that will bring home three points.”

“I looked at the game in Trinidad and I felt we had enough chances to put away the game and we have to finish well when we play them away. Against the USA though I thought we didn’t have good structure and we showed them too much respect. We weren’t moving the ball around like we did against Guatemala and we left a lot of gaps for them to go through.

I am sure too that the situation with Dwight Yorke had a negative effect on some of the players. It played on their minds because the USA game was too close to the previous one and they would have been looking forward to have him there in Chicago. But that’s a thing of the past now and our focus has to be the next three matches,” Whitley added.

Babwah also mentioned that defender Seon Power should be able to be in training again after seeing out the five-month recovery period since the leg injury earlier this year. But the former T&T U-17 player has not been in the Joe Public team of late.

Meantime, midfielder Khaleem Hyland is currently back in England trying to sort out his contract with Portsmouth. Efforts are being made to ensure the 19-year-old becomes a member of the Premiership club and manager Harry Redknapp said this week that he remains hopeful of having the player in his squad this season.