Muangthong hit by Kawin injury blow

Thai Premier League champions Muangthong United were dealt a real blow ahead of the new season after Kawin Thamsatchanan appeared to pick up a serious injury.

Football News: Kawin Thammasatchanan, Muangthong

By FOX Sports staff

The towering goalkeeper, who starred for Thailand in last year's AFF Suzuki Cup as they finished runners-up behind Singapore, had to be replaced midway through Sunday's friendly game against Chinese Super League side Shanghai East Asia.

Although reports have failed to reach a conclusion over the severity of the injury, it is suspected that Kawin broke his tibia and will be out for a minimum of 12 weeks, although some believe he could be out for up to eight months.

Even if the 23-year-old returns by the end of May, he would have missed a signficant portion of the first half of the league campaign, as well as the entire group stage of the AFC Champions League, where Muangthong are looking to qualify from a tricky group that also includes Guangzhou Evergrande, Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors and Urawa Red Diamonds.

Since joining the Twin Qilins from Raj Pracha in 2008, Kawin has established himself as one of Southeast Asia's best goalkeepers and earned his first cap for Thailand back in 2010.

Then working under ex-War Elephants coach Bryan Robson, he was even linked to a trial with Barclays Premier League giants Manchester United, whom his former national team boss used to captain.

It remains to be seen if Muangthong coach Slavisa Jokanovic will be tempted to bring in a replacement given he has an experienced back-up in Umarin Yaodam, although the 33-year-old spent most of 2012 playing second fiddle to Kawin.

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