Indian football team defender Sandesh Jhingan vowed to return stronger after suffering an Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury that is likely to keep him out of action for a considerable period.

The Kerala Blasters centre-back sustained the injury during India’s 1-1 friendly draw against NorthEast United in Guwahati on Wednesday. He will need to undergo surgery and is reportedly set to be out for six months effectively ruling him out of games against Bangladesh (October 15), Afghanistan (November 14), Oman (November 19) and even Qatar (March 26).

Jhingan’s absence has further worsened India’s injury crisis, who are also missing right-back Rahul Bheke, midfielders Amarjit Kiyam and Pranoy Halder. Midfielder Rowllin Borges is set to miss the clash against Bangladesh due to suspension.

Adil Khan has been a mainstay in central defence and either one of Narender Gahlot or Anas Edathodika, who last featured at the AFC Asian Cup for India, could replace Jhingan.