Defending champions Atletico de Kolkata (ATK)’s Arnab Mondal on Thursday almost ruled out the possibility of his teammate and defensive partner Josemi being available for the Indian Super League (ISL) opener against Chennaiyin FC.
The 35-year-old, who was instrumental in ATK’s success last year, suffered a knee-injury and the management perhaps won’t risk aggravating it.
“It is a big blow for us, he played a major role last year for us. Hopefully he will be cheering and leading us from the sidelines,” Mondal told reporters here.
For the last few days ATK’s biggest concern has been their practice ground. The Salt Lake stadium would not be ready before October 8 and Atletico had to practice in the Mohun Bagan club ground.
On Thursday they trained at the artificial turf in Barasat stadium.
Mondal said the shifting of practice venues has hampered their training.
“It has hampered our training but all I can say is that we are confident of doing well, and since they are the home side pressure to perform will be on them,” he said.
The outfit will leave for Chennai on Friday morning.