Santiago:Forward Roshan Minz will replace full-back Diwakar Ram who injured his shoulder during Indian team's practice ahead of India's opening match against Russia in Men's Hockey Olympic qualifying tournament on Saturday.
Talking to PTI, chief coach Joaquim Carvalho assured that Diwakar's absence would not adversely impact the team's balance.
Diwakar skipped training as the team management did not want to risk aggravating the "stiff shoulder".
"We are disappointed that Diwakar will not be taking part in the tournament as it will take him at least 10 days to recover fully. Roshan has been cleared to join the team and he should be with us soon," Carvalho said.
"Diwakar was primarily our third option at penalty corners since we already have Ramachandra Raghunath and Dilip Tirkey as specialists in this department. In this context, Diwakar's absence will not make a big difference to the team's balance," the coach added.
Minz is sure to miss India's first two matches against Russia and Austria as he is expected to arrive here tomorrow.
India, along with Great Britain, Russia, Austria, Mexico and hosts Chile will be competing for the lone spot available to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Diwakar, still a junior and who made his senior international debut in January during the five-Test series against Belgium in Chennai, was shaping up well, but in view of inexperience, he was chosen as a back-up for Raghunath and Tirkey.
On the choice of Minz, who was earlier overlooked in preference to an additional full-back in Diwakar, the coach said, "Roshan still has potential and he will give us more options in the forward line. An additional forward obviously means that we hope to play attacking hockey."
Carvalho said Diwakar will not be flown home immediately but will stay on with the team till the end of the tournament. "It will be a good experience for him to be with the senior team."