India striker Sunil Chhetri has virtually ruled himself out of the national team's much-awaited exhibition match - Bhaichung Bhutia's farewell against Bayern Munich on January 10 as he will not be able to recover from his ankle injury.
Running against time to get fit for the match, Chhetri said it will take about two weeks of rehabilitation after the plaster is removed on January 5. "It's a Grade-2 ligament tear on the left ankle and my plaster would be coming off on January 5. After that, it will be tentatively two weeks of rehab before I get back to action," Chhetri said.
Chhetri was today declared the AIFF Player of the Year after a prolific run that saw the diminutive striker score 13 goals in 17 international appearances.
"Sitting idle at home is the most painful experience for a footballer. When you receive such an award, you intend to hit the field immediately. But I'm helpless. That pains," Chhetri told www.the-aiff.com.
Besides his good run in the international circuit, Chhetri also sparkled for his club Chirag United, scoring seven times in 10 matches in the last I-League season (2010-11).
He has also scored 11 goals in 20 Club appearances in 2011. Chhetri will receive a cash award of Rs 2 lakh plus a silver plaque.