Can S-League leaders cope without key player?

Above: Balestier's Goran Subaru ends up with a broken wrist after his hand caught the metal rail during the match.

His recollection of the incident was fuzzy.

All Goran Subara could remember was trying to clear the ball near the touchline in last week's match against Harimau Muda, before he felt a tackle.

Everything else was a blur. In fact, he was sent flying by Harimau Muda striker Thamil Arasu and caught his hand on the metal rail surrounding the running track next to the pitch.

The impact caused "six to eight" fractures in the 25-year-old player's wrist, ruling him out of action for two months.

Shorn of one of their most influential players, the S-League leaders may have their work cut out for them, with games against Home United, Tampines Rovers and Brunei DPMM coming up during his expected absence.

But Balestier coach Darren Stewart is adamant that his group of over-achievers will cope.

The Australian said: "I don't think it will make a difference.

"After all, we played three-quarters of the game without him against Harimau Muda and we did okay. "It was a bad challenge that went unnoticed.

"So naturally, I feel a little bit aggrieved about the decision."

As for Subara, he is particularly upset at the prospect of watching from the sidelines, as his team continue to defy the odds at the top of the standings.

Said Subara, who underwent surgery at Mount Elizabeth Hospital: "It is disappointing to get this injury now, especially with the team doing so well.

"But what can you do? It is part and parcel of football.

"I have to take it as it comes, focus on my recovery and come back stronger."

Mulling

Similarly, his coach feels that there is no use mulling over the incident.

Stewart, whose team play their next game against Tanjong Pagar on May 6, said: "We can't dwell on that. There's no magic wand that will get him back fit."

After all, he said, the key to success doesn't change, with or without Subara.

He said: "It's hard work, absolutely. To me, there's no other reason than that.

"The game is simple: We work hard and we will get the results."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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