Saudi Arabia defender Yasser Al Shahrani has undergone successful surgery following the horror injury against Argentina that left him with a reported fractured jaw, broken facial bones and internal bleeding.
The 30-year-old was stretchered off the field in Saudi Arabia’s historic 2-1 win over Argentina after a sickening collision with Mohammed Al-Owais
The Saudi Arabia goalkeeper had jumped for a high ball late in the game against Argentina, and his knee slammed into the face of Al Shahrani, who was running in the opposite direction. His other knee collided with the stomach of his team-mate.
Al Shahrani was first rushed to hospital in Doha before being flown back to Riyadh the following morning. In a statement, the Saudi Arabian football association said the subsequent surgery on the 30-year-old’s pancreatic gland was successful.
In a message on social media, Al Shahrani said: “I wanted to assure you that my health is good, your prayers are for me, and the fans of the Saudi national team deserve to win.”
Al Shahrani is not expected to feature again at this World Cup, although he has not yet been officially ruled out by his own association. The defender plays his club football in Riyadh, for Al Hilal, and has made 73 appearances for his national team.
Saudi Arabia’s next match is against Poland on Saturday. They go into the game as the unlikely leaders of Group C after their stunning performance against Argentina in the opening round.
Poland, meanwhile, drew 0-0 with Mexico in their opening match, with star striker Robert Lewandowski missing a second-half penalty.
Saudi Arabia’s victory over Argentina is regarded as one of the most shocking results in the history of the World Cup. They are ranked 51st in the world, while Argentina had not lost for 36 matches.