Mumbai, September 24: Star Canadian striker Ian Hume is expected to be fit after recovering from his knee injury only in December for the Indian Super League season five, said FC Pune City head coach Miguel Portugal here on Monday. In February, Hume suffered the injury that ruled him out of the rest of the previous season.
He was contracted by FC Pune City in August this year. Hume, who is the highest goal scorer in the history of ISL, had previously plied his trade in the ISL with Kerala Blasters FC and ATK, scoring 28 goals in four seasons. "I think in December it is possible that he (Iain Hume) can play. That is my opinion. He (Hume) is now working very hard on fitness. I think by end November or December, he might be okay," Portugal told reporters at the ISL Media Day.
Pressed further on what does Hume bring to the team, the coach said, "I don't know now and we decide in December. Now it is impossible to decide".
Last season, Pune City FC were ousted at the semi-final stage by Bengaluru FC. Meanwhile, Uruguayan Emiliano Alfaro said the first target was to reach the semi-finals. "In Pune, we have a good team. Our target is to first reach the semi-finals. I'll promise that we will give our best, but I don't know whether we can do better than last year," the South American player said.
On a lighter note, Alfaro, who has been nick-named "El Picaro", which means "The Thief" in the Italian language, said he got it from a commentator. Pune's dynamic mid-fielder Adil Khan said the team was looking ahead to have a great season and put themselves in the final. Pune have also signed Robin Singh and according to Khan, the former is "desperate" to get into the first eleven as striker.
"He (Robin) is doing good and trying to get himself back on track. He is working hard. We had a chat and he is desperate to get in the team. But it is difficult with Alfaro and all the foreigners -- we have a great attack, it is difficult, but not impossible," said Khan.
Khan also said the team was preparing well for the main tournament. "The team is shaping up well. We are still in pre-season and about to play a few matches in the coming days. So, hopefully, we will shape up in a good way," he added. Pune start campaign against Delhi Dynamos on October 3 in Delhi.