CHICAGO—Sidelined from international football for the past 10 months, national team co-skipper Aly Borromeo is hoping for a comeback next month when the country holds the four-nation Paulino Alcantara Cup at Panaad Stadium in Bacolod City.
The central defender who has been a key figure for the national side the past eight years is working doubly hard here in the Azkals’ two-week training camp to hasten his recovery from a strained knee which he sustained at the tail end of the United Football League season.
“It’s devastating to be out and to be watching the game from the sidelines,” said Borromeo, whose last game for the Azkals was last Oct. 7 when they beat Nepal, 4-0, at Rizal Memorial Stadium.
The injury sidelined Borromeo from the AFC Challenge Cup in Nepal in March. He was also rested during the series of friendly matches against Indonesia and Malaysia last June.
Borromeo, who underwent surgery after tearing his Anterior Cruciate Ligament in October last year, actually returned to action in May and June for his United Football League club Kaya, helping them salvage second place.
“I kind of got too overeager to play right away towards the end of the UFL season so I got this minor setback,” said Borromeo. “I just have to be sure on my recovery and looking towards longevity in my career.”
Team manager Dan Palami said Borromeo’s return will be a boost to the squad which is looking for options on defense. In fact, the Azkals had to convert defensive midfielder Jason de Jong to centerback in the 1-3 loss to the Chicago Inferno last Saturday in a test match.
Azkals coach Michael Weiss said he won’t be forcing Borromeo to return prematurely, but said the 29-year-old is still part of his plans particularly for the Suzuki Cup.