Beach football striker goes under knife
La-Tavia Russell Jamaica's top female beach football striker, is set to undergo surgery today at the St Ann's Bay Hospital after tearing an anterior cruciate ligament in the left knee during the Commonwealth Youth Games.
Russell collided with the Trinidad and Tobago goalkeeper in the championship game at Malcolm Park in Nassau, Bahamas, last Saturday night. Jamaica went down 5-6 to Trinidad and Tobago in the final match after leading 4-0.
Jamaica coach Andrew Price said after a preliminary check on Russell's injury, it was decided to make further examinations when the team returned home.
"When we saw the injury on Saturday night, she had discomfort. We checked it out last Monday at the Clinic of Sports Medicine, Haining Road. After that we called the JFF (Jamaica Football Federation) team doctor, McDowell, who is stationed at the St Ann's Bay Hospital, where she did some more tests. It was decided that surgery would be done," Price told STAR Sports yesterday.
"I'm really appreciative of what the JOA (Jamaica Olympic Association) and JFF have done in assisting the surgery," he added.
Price said he was disappointed Jamaica had lost against a team they had beaten 5-2 during the preliminary round.
"After leading 4-0, our top goalscorer, on 14 goals (Russell), picked up a knee injury and it affected the team's play," Price explained.
''She is an excellent player with a lethal left foot. She was our go-to player and the team depended on her to score goals," he said of the Rusea's High School student.
Despite losing in the final, Price said he was happy with the talent available, considering beach soccer is new to the players.
"We want more competitions in the Caribbean in order to improve the sport in the region. The Caribbean has to unite in an effort to play more games. We are happy with the opportunity that the JOA gave us to play in the tournament," said Price, who is also head coach of Boys' Town's Premier League team.
Jamaica swamped hosts Bahamas 15-2, beat Trinidad 5-2 and hammered Turks and Caicos, 11-2, before losing in the final.