Singapore midfielder Hariss Harun will not travel to Doha with the Lions for a five-day training camp ahead of the 2016 AFF Suzuki Cup.
The Johor Darul Ta'zim star, who is also the Lions' vice-captain, has been given a break by national team coach V Sundramoorthy after a busy season. However, Hariss has found his name in the 28-man preliminary Singapore squad for the Suzuki Cup, which was announced on Monday.
Singapore are drawn in Group A of the eight-team Asean tournament. They will face co-hosts Philippines in their opening clash on 19 November and will also take on Indonesia and Thailand in the group stages on 22 and 25 November, respectively.
Right after the training camp in Doha, Sundram's side will also play friendly matches against Syria and Cambodia on 9 and 13 November, respectively. The two matches will prove crucial to get the team ready for the Suzuki Cup as the Tigers have not had positive results coming their way in the lead up to the tournament.
Since winning against Myanmar in June, the Tigers have suffered a winless-streak in their last five games, out of which they have lost four.
Sundram, who is looking for a turnaround in his team's fortunes, is particular about his go-to-man getting a break ahead of the big test later this month. He believes Hariss will benefit from light training instead of travelling with the team to Doha.
"Hariss has played more than 40 games this year. He needs this active recovery time," Sundram spoke of his decision to rest Hariss, as quoted by The New Paper.
"It's very advisable to put him on low-key training, to make sure he is fresh for the Suzuki Cup."
Hariss himself conceded that a long season had drained him out. However, he maintains he cannot wait to get back into action with the team once it returns from Doha on Monday.
Notably, the 28-year-old has been a crucial member of the Malaysian giants JDT, who won the league as well as the FA Cup in the recently concluded season. Hariss also played his part in the Southern Tigers' title defense at the 2016 AFC Cup which ended on a bitter note after a semi-final loss against I-League side Bengaluru FC.
"It's been a long season with many games and with lots of travelling, and it has taken its toll," Hariss said.
"The onus is on me to be ready when I rejoin the team on Monday. I am still part of the team and I can't wait to get back and work with the boys next week."