October 2, 2023

Lea’i to undergo surgery

Solomon Islands futsal team head coach Vinicius Laite confirms that Raphael Lea’i will have surgery following his fractured arm.

Raphael Lea’i fractured his right arm. (Photo: SIFF Media)

It was in a friendly match against Italy that Lea’i injured his right arm.

“Medical result confirmed that Raphael Lea’i has a fractured right arm sustained in the game against Italy,” a statement read on the Kurukurus Facebook page following a medical examination.

Speaking to Football in Oceania after a practice ahead of their Futsal World Cup opener against Morocco on Monday, head coach Vinicius Laite confirmed that Lea’i will undergo surgery.

“He fractured his arm, this is day nine. We’ve been struggling to get a surgery, but apparently that’s been solved today and he’ll have it in the next few days,” Laite said.

Solomon Island’s coach Vinicius Laite. (Photo: Shane Wenzlick/Phototek)

Following the surgery Lea’i will be out for a few months at least, and will not see any action this World Cup.

“That’s impossible (to play in any games). He needs surgery, where he’ll have a plate and screws put in. That needs at least two months of recovery.”

“Unfortunately we lost a good player, who’s very young as well. He was eager to play, but unfortunately that will have to wait until the next World Cup,” Laite said.

Other than Lea’i, every member of the Solomons squad is ready to go for the opening game on Monday.

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