Al-Hilal star Carlos Eduardo set to return after serious injury

Carlos Eduardo is all smiles again after it was announced he has recovered from a serious knee problem. (@Alhilal_EN)
Updated 16 May 2018
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Al-Hilal star Carlos Eduardo set to return after serious injury

  • Brazilian has been out since November
  • Al-Hial set to welcome him back for pre-season

Whoever turns out to be Al-Hilal’s new manager will be boosted by the news that star midfield Carlos Eduardo has been declared fit to start pre-season.
The Brazilian playmaker has been out since November after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the first leg of last year’s AFC Champions League final. He underwent surgery in Brazil and missed the rest of the season.
Al-Hilal struggled badly without him, suffering a shock King’s Cup exit, crashing out of this year’s AFC Champions League at the group stage and crawling over the line in the Saudi Pro League by a point. He has scored 50 goals for the Riyadh giants since joining in the summer of 2015 and scored seven in last year’s AFC Champions League. He linked up particularly well with Omar Khribin, the Syrian striker who wasn’t quite the same force without his Brazilian sidekick.
But the good news for Al-Hilal fans is that Eduardo is well on the road to recovery and a tweet from the club’s English language Twitter account said he will join in “pre-season preparations next Friday after completing his recovery and rehab programs.”
In the absence of a new manager, another tweet said pre-season would be “directed” by head coach Juan Brown, fitness coach Abdulaziz Al-Dawsari and goalkeeping coach Dan Zdranca.
Team manager Fahad Al-Mefarej is heading to Italy, along with the team administrator Waleed Al-Qassem, to choose a suitable location in Italy or Austria for the pre-season training camp.
In another injury news, midfielder Ahmad Ashraf “will start his recovery and rehab process next Friday” after surgery on his lower abdominal muscles while defender Abdullah Al-Hafith is making “significant progress” in his recovery from a cruciate knee ligament injury.
With the playing squad and pre-season preparations taking shape, the Al-Hilal board now need to step up their search for a new manager. Quique Sanchez Flores and Shakhtar Donetsk manager Paulo Fonseca have turned down the chance to coach the Saudi Pro League champions while talks with Sporting manager Jorge Jesus are thought to be ongoing. It is understood that a salary in excess of €6 million ($7 million) has been made available for the right candidate.


Enable eyes more history as fantastic filly bids for Breeders' Cup glory

Updated 16 October 2018
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Enable eyes more history as fantastic filly bids for Breeders' Cup glory

  • No horse has ever won the Arc and Breeders' Cup in the same season.
  • The last Arc winner to win again in the same season was All Along, way back in 1983.

LONDON: Two-time Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe winner Enable will bid for yet more history after it was announced she is to run in the Breeders' Cup Turf next month.

Two weeks ago the Saudi Arabian-owned filly became only the seventh double winner of the Arc. Straight after the famous race at Longchamps in Paris it was mooted that Enable, owned by Prince Khalid Abdullah, would aim to become the first home to win a hat-trick of Arcs. 

But while that still may happen Teddy Grimthrorpe, racing manager for Khalid Abdullah, revealed the filly will first try to become the first winner of both the Arc and Breeders' Cup in the same season. 

In a statement Grimthorpe said: “Prince Khalid has given the go ahead for Enable to run in the Breeders’ Cup Turf, Group One. No decisions on her future will be made until after the race.

“(Enable) is an extraordinary athlete.”

The last Arc winner to win again in the same season was All Along, way back in 1983. Trained by Patrick Biancone and ridden by Walter Swinburn, she won the Canadian International a couple of weeks' later.

The John Gosden-trained horse won her second Arc under Frankie Dettori earlier this month. And Gosden admitted there had been some debate as to whether the the four-year-old would defend her Paris crown. 

“I was pretty anxious going into it as we lost a week. Losing a filly for five days that should be cantering and working knocks you back and we went back to where we were before the Kempton race.

“You lose the benefit of having a run and she missed her main work. It was a bit nip and tuck.”