Austin, Mariappa on doc's watch
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala — Rodolph Austin and Adrian Mariappa watched from the bench as the Reggae Boyz went through another training session at the Estadio Manuel Felipe Carrera yesterday.
Austin, the ace midfielder who suffered a twisted left ankle for club team Leeds United in last Saturday's English League game against Barnsley, did participate in the technical session with the rest of the team, before being taken through an isolated session where he kicked the ball, sprinted and leapt off either leg, as he applied pressure to the sore ankle.
For Mariappa, who collided with goalkeeper Jacomeno Barrett the previous evening and had to be taken to the Hospital Americas for further examinations after complaining of breathing problems, he remained inactive.
The good news for the Jamaican camp is that his x-rays proved negative and his injury was no more than a thoracic contusion or trauma to the rib area.
Yesterday's session was the penultimate ahead of tomorrow's crucial World Cup Qualifying contest against the host nation at the Mateo Flores Stadium at 8:00 pm (9:00 pm Jamaica time).
Last night Dr Carl Fraser told the Jamaica Observer that Austin's injury has not yet been sorted out 100 per cent, but he is being treated.
"We still have reservations about him and we haven't yet made a final decision on him because it is not just about running, but his ability to kick the ball as well," Dr Fraser said.
Regarding Mariappa, he said: "We did not let him do anything stressful today (yesterday) because it was just yesterday (Tuesday) that he suffered the injury," he added.
If Austin is unable to take his place in the team on Friday, utility player Jermaine Taylor could be slotted into the central defensive midfield position alongside Jason Morrison. Taylor has looked quite impressive in the role since the team started preparation on Monday evening.
The team has been practising with both the 4-4-2 and 4-3-3 formations with Nyron Nosworthy joining Mariappa in central defence, flanked by the returning Demar Phillips and Lovell Palmer. Je-Vaughn Watson could be the third midfielder in the 4-3-3 with Dane Richards, Luton Shelton and Ryan Johnson being the front three.
In the 4-4-2 Watson and Richards could give way to Jermaine Hue and Tramaine Stewart, based on yesterday's practice session.
Today the Boyz are scheduled to train at the Mateo Flores Stadium at 7:00 pm.