Pillay to return for Olympic qualifiers

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:05 IST

Dhanraj Pillay, who missed the hockey Test series against Netherlands due to injury, is expected to return for the Olympic qualifiers next month.

New Delhi:

Dhanraj Pillay, who missed the hockey Test series against Netherlands due to injury, is expected to return on national duty when the team for the next month's Olympic qualifiers in Madrid is picked on Monday. The announcement, which was scheduled for Wednesday, has been deferred till next week that would give Pillay, who was injured during the Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia last month, a few more days to prove his fitness. Dr Anant Joshi, under whom Pillay underwent treatment for an injured knee, has already cleared the player to resume action after Sunday, Indian Hockey Federation sources said here today. If Pillay returns to the side he would take the reins from Dilip Tirkey, who captained the side in the Test series against the Dutch. "Pillay is fit to play after Sunday. So he has good chance of making to the side. And if he returns, he is the automatic choice for captainship," the sources said. "There will be a selection trial at National Stadium on Monday and the team will be announced on the same day." The March 2-13 qualifiers at Madrid will see twelve teams fight it out for seven Athens Olympic berths to join the five continental champions. Germany, South Korea, Argentina, Australia and Egypt have already made it to the four-yearly extravaganza by virtue of being the continental champions and will be challenged by these seven qualifiers for the Olympic glory. (PTI)

Topics : Hockey
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