Trinidad and Tobago National Senior Team playmaker Keron “Ball Pest” Cummings will be out of action for at least 10 months, after he underwent surgery this morning at the Port of Spain General Hospital.
The operation was performed by Dr Marlon Mencia and hospital staff and observed by Orlando-based Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA) medical consultant Dr Mario John.
Cummings was shot in his leg on Sunday during an assault outside his home in Diego Martin. The attack left the 27-year-old North East Stars midfielder with a fractured thigh bone or femur.
John, who is an orthopaedic surgeon, told the TTFA Media that a rod was placed into Cummings’ femur to stabilise the fracture. And, due to his level of fitness and the success of the surgery, he could return to the playing field in 10 months once the rehabilitation process goes well.
Cummings was expected to play a key role in Trinidad and Tobago’s 2016 Copa America Centenario qualifier against Haiti on January 6 before joining United States Major League Soccer (MLS) team, Orlando City, immediately after.
Instead, his injury means he will be out for the season and will miss the rest of Trinidad and Tobago’s semifinal qualifying round of the Russia 2018 World Cup campaign.
Cummings said he was relieved to be alive, though.
“Firstly, I want to thank the Almighty Lord for bringing me through this (and) I am relieved at the moment,” Cummings told the TTFA Media. “I would like to thank my family and teammates, the national team management and the TTFA for their support over the last few days.
“This was a very difficult time in my life but I am thankful that, with rehab, I will be able to make a comeback.”
Cummings was visited by TTFA president David John-Williams and other members of the “Soca Warriors” during his hospital stay and John-Williams thanked Mencia for the treatment and care provided to the national player.
Trinidad and Tobago coach Stephen Hart also expressed pleasure with the outcome of this morning’s operation.
“This is very good news for the player and also for us,” said Hart. “We have kept him in our prayers and we are thankful for the outcome.
“He will have our support throughout this and it is important now that the follow-up care and the rehab process goes well for him.”
The Warriors train at 6 pm this evening at the Hasely Crawford Stadium and then from 8 am tomorrow at the Mannie Ramjohn Stadium, as they continue preparations for next week’s clash with Haiti.
Central FC goalkeeper Jan-Michael Williams is expected to wear the armband for the Copa America play off and he said the team is focused despite the sad news.
“We’ve had a good few sessions so far,” said Williams. “The boys have responded well and everyone is working hard and remaining focused. Obviously the news about Keron was sad and it was a blow to the team. But we continue to have him in our prayers and we are glad to know he will be okay.
“Generally, we are staying focused and trying to ensure we are ready as possible for the game against the Haitians.”
The Trinidad and Tobago squad to face Haiti is as follows:
Goalkeepers: Jan-Michael Williams (Central FC), Marvin Phillip (Morvant Caledonia United), Adrian Foncette (Police FC);
Defenders: Daneil Cyrus (W Connection), Justin Hoyte (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Carlyle Mitchell (Seoul E-Land—South Korea), Radanfah Abu Bakr (HB Koge—Denmark), Yohance Marshall (Murcielagos FC—Mexico), Mekeil Williams (Antigua GFC—Guatemala), Aubrey David (Deportivo Saprissa—Costa Rica);
Midfielders: Andre Boucaud (Dagenham & Redbridge—England), Khaleem Hyland (KV Westerlo—Belgium), Kevan George (Unattached), Neveal Hackshaw (North East Stars);
Attacking Midfielders: Trevin Caesar (Austin Aztex—USA), Cordell Cato (San Jose Earthquakes—USA), Lester Peltier (Slovan Bratislava—Slovakia), Joevin Jones (Chicago Fire—USA), Rundell Winchester (Portland Timbers II—USA), Jomal Williams (W Connection), Ataulla Guerra (Central FC);
Forwards: Jonathan Glenn (Breioablik—Iceland), Shahdon Winchester (W Connection);
Staff: Stephen Hart, Hutson Charles, Derek King, Michael Maurice (goalkeeper coach), David Muhammad (manager), Peter Rampersad (manager), Dr Terrence Babwah (doctor), Dave Isaac (therapist), Tobias Ottley (fitness trainer), Saron Joseph (trainer), Michael Williams (equipment manager), Shaun Fuentes (press officer).