DPMM FC will have a hole to fill as left-back Sairol Hj Sahari (pic) is expected to miss the remainder of the season, staring with tonight's match against fourth-place Balestier Khalsa FC.
The 30-year-old is set to undergo surgery next month on his right knee after being diagnosed with a meniscus tear, the lengthy lay-over a potentially worrying scenario for DPMM FC who have to play three Singapore League games over the next eight days.
"It is an old injury but recently there was some pain, so I went to the Orthopedic Centre and they found that there was a meniscus tear," said Sairol in an interview with The Brunei Times yesterday.
"I'm scheduled for surgery next month and I will need to get enough rest and work at the gym to get back to full strength for the next couple of months after that," he added.
Tonight's match against Balestier Khalsa at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas will be a tough test considering the visitors have not lost their last eight S-League games.
A positive for the fans is that they can look forward to is the inclusion of striker Shahrazen Said and midfielder Hj Mohd Subhi Abdilah Hj Bakir back into the lineup after injuries.
Despite Sairol's set back, DPMM FC head coach Vjeran Simunic feels that the team is ready for tonight's game.
"Sairol is injured and will be out for the next three months," confirmed Simunic.
"Also, I think Rosmin (captain Rosmin Hj Mohd Kamis) and Subhi will be on the bench, so I will give Shahrazen a chance to play in Subhi's position.
"I think all of this won't be a problem (because) we still have 18 good players ready for tomorrow (Wednesday)," continued the Croatian.
Rosmin said the team have been working hard and are in good shape ahead of their tight schedule.
DPMM FC are currently eighth in the S-League with 23 points from 18 games. They will host leaders Tampines Rovers at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium four days later.
They will then close out the month with a meeting against Warriors FC at the Choa Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore next Thursday.
"We have trained hard to keep our fitness for the past couple of week," said the skipper.
"We had four days off for Hari Raya but that should not be a problem for all the players.
"It is going to be hard but that is football. We must be ready and prepare for the tight schedule.
"So far we don't have any problems. We will have Subhi back from injury which is good for the team.
"Our main target is to win all the remaining matches for the top-six target, but we will take it game by game.
"We have confidence but we must respect our opponents because all matches will be tough," continued Rosmin.
Tonight's other game will be a top of table clash between Tampines Rovers and Albirex Niigata at the Clementi Stadium in Singapore at 7.30pm.