Al Ain's injury problems were compounded yesterday when it was announced Mohammed Fayez had undergone major knee surgery.
Already without Ibrahima Keita, the Ivorian midfielder who suffered a knee ligament injury in his first game for the club, Jomma Saeeda and goalkeepers Yousuf Abdulrahman and Waleed Salem, Al Ain now face the prospect of being without one of their first-choice defenders for an indefinite period.
Fayez was initally injured in the first game of the season against Dubai and his comeback in the third league game of the season against Sharjah lasted just 35 minutes.
The fact that Fayez underwent two operations in Germany to repair the problem illustrates the severity of the injury. Dr Taher Masoud, the team doctor at Al Dhafrah, claimed recently that "the most common injury sustained in the UAE is that of the knee.
The number of knee injuries every season is amazing and all because of the players using the wrong [boots]".
Fayaz is expected to return to the UAE next week to start his rehabilitation at the club clinic. Meanwhile, Tite, the Al Wahda coach, believes his two matches coaching the Pro League champions without a goal can end when they play the promoted Dubai away tomorrow.
The Brazilian plans to improve his attacking options with more players supporting Fernando Baino, the Brazilian striker, and Ismail Matar.
"A couple of problems were either the timing of the final pass was not precise or it was a bit far for the player to reach for a perfect launch on the shot," said Tite.
"We have been working on it over the last two days and it should come right in the next game." "We could have scored two or three goals in the first half of our last match but we missed them and Al Ain becqame better organised in the second half. It was two derby games with Al Jazira and Al Ain, and obviously we are expected to win against Dubai, and win convincingly.
"We must not take anything for granted against Dubai. They have yet to win a point and they will want to come back in to the competition. Such teams can be very dangerous as they don't have anything to lose."
Wahda's all three goals have come against Kalba, the other promoted club. They have played to scoreless results against Jazira and Al Ain, after shocked by Al Wasl 2-0 in the opener.