Muta ruled out

Sports

THE men’s national soccer team say veteran midfielder David Muta has ruled himself out of the upcoming Pacific Games due to an ongoing knee injury.
Team manager Gordon Manub confirmed that Muta, who was expected to captain the side, had asked the side to withdraw him from the squad following medical advice.
“David had been overseas receiving medical treatment,” Manub said.
“On his return, he had advised us that he would not be able to fully recover in time because he was still undergoing rehab on his injury.
“He received treatment on it (injury) but it’s going to take him a bit longer to get him to play at his fullest. David knew that he had to be fully fit to contribute effectively to the side.
“So with the injury taking long to heal, he decided to rule himself out. It’s unfortunate for us as we see David as a leader.
“We believe that he’s done the right thing to ensure that he fully recovers so that he can continue his playing career.”
Manub said Muta had sustained the injury during the National Soccer League season.
The team has named Shane Sakael as the only new inclusion after Muta’s withdrawal.
Coach Bob Morris said Sakael would be slotted into the central defence. Greg Togubai is expected to replace Muta in the midfield.
“Gregory will partner Simon Emmanuel, Jacob Sabua and Michael Foster,” Morris said.
“David is influential on the pitch, and an outstanding leader.”
Meanwhile, Auckland City forward David Brown is also under an injury cloud.
“We are still assessing his injury,” Morris said.
“He is undergoing rehabilitation. I hope he recovers for the Games.”

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