Sandeep on a comeback trail

Updated: 26 October 2007 10:00 IST

Hockey player Sandeep Singh is on a comeback trail after his injury in an accident.

India seem to have suffered a jinx of sorts when it comes to penalty corner specialists. Both Jugraj Singh and Sandeep Singh were injured in accidents that cost the side many goals, and the two players a major part of their career.

Sandeep though is back on the comeback trail and, with some success in the German League, has staked a strong claim for a place in the national team.

Sandeep shared the story of his success in Germany's Professional Hockey League with his brother Bikram.

The 21-year-old was the top scorer with 11 goals in just nine games. Earmarked as a successor to Jugraj Singh, Sandeep has had a roller coaster of a year after being accidentally shot in a train, causing him to miss the 2006 World Cup and rebuild his career from scratch.

"Most of the muscles in my body had gone, and I had been given so many antibiotics, that regaining fitness was going to take a long time. It used to hurt a lot as well. Especially at night, if I had practised the same day," said Sandeep Singh.

Less than a year after the accidental shooting, Sandeep was back in action at the champions challenge in Belgium. But then there was another setback.

Sandeep missed the Asia Cup in Chennai that India went on to win because of a freak accident in the bathroom and a wrong diagnosis by a doctor.

"The coach asked me to get an MRI done on my back. The Bangalore doctor who conducted it told me to rest for at least four months. But I hadn't rested that long even after getting shot, so how could I do that for such a minor thing?" Sandeep said.

The Indian Hockey Federation however, stepped in to make sure that Sandeep got the permission to play in the Germany league.

But the 21-year-old's comeback might again be stalled with reports that the new coach Joachim Caravalho isn't too fond of him.

"See, it depends on what the coach thinks about me. But I have no complaints against anybody. It was the Federation that had sent me to Germany. Whether it communicated the same to the coach or not, I don't know. Only the FIH knows why he made such a statement against me," said Sandeep.

For Sandeep now, the aim is to get as much practise as possible in the upcoming domestic tournaments so as to convince the coach that he indeed is India's best option for the Olympic Qualifiers next year.

Topics : Hockey
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