Nizam to replace Madhu in latest Lions squad

Defender Madhu Mohana has been ruled out for the Singapore's upcoming friendlies against Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong, with LionsXII teammate Khairul Nizam called up in his stead.

National Team coach Bernd Stange confirmed the change on Wednesday evening, after being impressed with Nizam's performances in the recent Malaysia Cup.

“We’ve changed Madhu with Nizam,” he told FourFourTwo after a training session at Jalan Besar Stadium.

“He’ll come to training tomorrow and we’ll assess his condition from there. Hopefully he’s ready.”

Right-back Madhu was stretchered off during Felda United's 3-1 win over the LionsXII, with tests after the game revealing that he could be out for at least a month with a pulled hamstring.

"I was sprinting, chasing their No. 10 (Zah Rahan Kranger), then suddenly I felt the pull so I came off," Madhu told FFT.

"Lucky I did that, or it might have been more serious.

"I went to see specialist Dr McCormack yesterday, and found out it was a 2cm pull which will rule me out for four to eight weeks."

The lengthy recovery time would also mean missing the upcoming Asian Games campaign, with the promising defender taking to Twitter to bemoan his bad luck.

"Of course I'm disappointed, this is indeed the 'perfect' timing to get this injury with the Asian Games coming up," he told FFT on Thursday.

"Now I've no choice but to focus on recovery; ultimately the most important thing ahead is the Suzuki Cup.

"We still have Al Qaasimy at right back, the team should be able to cope and do well at the Games."

Khairul Nizam's call up, meanwhile, is a another positive step in the striker's latest comeback from injury after going under the knife three times in the past two years.

The 23-year-old will be looking to make his first appearance in a Lions shirt since a friendly against Hong Kong in August 2012 and add to the five national caps he earned under previous coach Raddy Avramovic.