Port fans found themselves rubbing their eyes, telling themselves that their hangovers were not inducing hallucinations and taking a second look at the touchline on Wednesday evening, as the forgotten figure of Asdrubal Padron was seen training, and in remarkably fine fettle for a man who was thought to be out for the season. He was also thought by most to have left the club completely after his horrific ligament injury, so it was quite a surprise when Nig, the creator of Humans of Thai Port, informed me that the Spaniard is in fact still on the books receiving 50% of his original wage. The way he looked just a couple of months in to his recovery, he could well be an option for the second half of the season.
Asdrubal was working with fitness coach Rodrigo Pellegrino, who had him running through some obstacles before side-footing or heading balls that were thrown to him. He seemed to be moving very well, although his coach seemed keen to restrict how much he was jumping. After working with the ball for a while, Asdrubal jogged around the pitch where he also seemed to me to be moving pretty comfortably.
Asdrubal’s return could be a key moment in Port’s season, as he could add that bit of pace that has been lacking going forward. The Spaniard was the most high-profile of Port’s signings – having played in La Liga for his former club Las Palmas – but his Port career looked to be over before it had begun, as he suffered a nasty-looking knee injury in training, having only participated in one friendly. Initial reports suggested that Asdrubal would be out for the whole season, but it would appear that those estimates were wrong, as the tough Spaniard is looking far ahead of schedule in his rehab.
Other Injury News
Centre half Todsapol (6), who started his first league game of the season before the international break against Buriram, was also not fit to start against Samut Songkhram. He was on the sidelines in his playing gear, but was doing fairly light training, making his inclusion for Monday’s clash with Ubon UMT doubtful.
Pakasit (2) was also in light training, recovering from a knock he picked up against Bangkok Utd last week. As he is third choice at best in the right back pecking order, this shouldn’t effect Jadet’s squad selection on Monday.
Port’s most under-appreciated player this season – by the management at least – was nowhere to be seen at training. Tatchanon (39) has been chronically underused so far this season, and now injury appears to have caught up with the youngster. We hope he has a speedy recovery, and that he is considered for first-team selection when fit!
Pinyo (21) seems to have suffered another setback in his recovery that has been going on since early last season. Pinyo looked near full fitness in the run up to the season, when he got a few minutes of game time in pre-season friendlies, but Pinyo is back doing rehab work now, and does not look anywhere near full training. Pinyo was restricted to throwing a ball against the wall and tentatively volleying it back to himself, but was not doing any running.
The only other player who wasn’t seen at training was young goalkeeper Rattanai (17), but he is on his way back from a successful international break in the UAE, where he started 2 games as the Thai Under 23s unexpectedly captured
the Dubai Cup. Rattanai started against the two toughest opposition sides – UAE and China – indicating that he is now first choice for the Young Elephants as well as for Port. Well done, Rat!