Tue, Jul

Stern JohnSouthampton striker Stern John admitted breathing a sigh of relief on Sunday morning after further assessment by the club’s medical staff revealed that he would need to stay off his legs for around a week before returning to action.
John went off in the first half of Southampton’s 2-0 win over Doncaster Rovers after making a sliding challenge and then felt discomfort after attempting to continue a run.

The ex-Sunderland man was recalled last week to the T&T team after being left out for the previous games against Cuba, Guatemala and USA.

“I went in with the slide and then I felt the pinch. I didn’t make much of it and I tried to run it off but it stiffened up and that was it. Luckily I went off right away. I was absolutely gutted at the time” John told TTFF Media. “I couldn’t believe my luck at the time because it was a chance for me to start for Southampton again and I was just getting back into the national team.

Fortunately for John and T&T, it turned out to be a slight hamstring strain and he will be back on the field in just over a week which gives him enough time before the October 11 Word Cup qualifier away to Guatemala. John is expected in Port of Spain on October 6.

“Thankfully when they checked it again on Sunday it turned out to be a lot less serious than we thought at first. It’s going to take a few days rest and then I will be back in it again. I know the next couple of games are huge for us and I am definitely looking forward to being back in the team so I want to ensure I’m injury free in time for the games and it looks good at this point,” John added.

In related news Turkish-based striker Darryl Roberts, also in the T&T squad for the upcoming matches, netted in the final minute for Denizlispor in a 2-1 loss to Gaziantepspor on Sunday. Roberts celebrated his 25th birthday on Friday.

The T&T team will depart for Guatemala City on October 9, spend one day there before the match on October 11. The players and coaching staff will return to Port of Spain immediately following the match on a charter flight.

Meantime, the TTFF is advising that the T&T versus Dominican Republic friendly international will now be the first game of a double header at the Hasely Crawford Stadium from 5:30pm on October 8,2008. The Concacaf Champions League encounter between Joe Public and Montreal Impact will follow at 8pm at the same venue. Prices have been put at $200 (covered stands) and $100 (uncovered). Kids under 12 will pay half price for any part of the venue.