New Delhi: India's injured penalty corner specialist Jugraj Singh was recently nominated as International hockey's Young Player of the Year. Though he didn't win eventually, for him the biggest victory is likely to be getting back to hockey. After extensive treatment in the US, Jugraj, who has been bedridden for the last three months after a car crash, is now looking forward to a comeback in March 2004 for the Olympic qualifiers in Spain where India are in the same pool as Pakistan. "There isn't much of a difference between the doctors in India and the doctors in America, the talent is somewhat the same. What makes a difference is the equipment that they have which is the latest in the world, and that is something we do not have in India," said Jugraj. Hockey was not just Jugraj's passion, it was his life. But his wounds may not have healed completely, and doctors feel that he still quite some time away from returning to the hockey astro-turf. "He is mentally very tough. Even though his elbows may have improved, he still needs at least another 4-5 months of intensive physiotherapy. The bones in his legs will take time to heal," said Dr Seema Grover, who treated him at Delhi's Batra Hospital. The ace penalty corner expert says the treatment that he received abroad did him a world of good and he is now looking to get back in time for the Olympic qualifiers. "In the opinion of the doctors it will take me at least another four months to recover. Even if four months become five months, I do not have a problem because I want to be completely fit before I get onto the ground. I know that my fitness level is better that what it was before," said Jugraj. Jugraj's sentiment is shared by the whole nation, especially the national hockey team which is still struggling to find a replacement for him.
Topics : Hockey