Saina Nehwal’s decision of playing in the upcoming Dubai World Super Series Finals is considered as risky.
Saina was last seen at the China Open in mid November. It was in that game, she has been laid low, by an Achilles tendon injury.
Yesterday at Karnataka Badminton Association (KBA) courts, Saina was able to practice only the standing strokes, and stayed away from putting pressure on the right ankle, as it was taped.
Speaking about Saina’s condition, her coach U. Vimal Kumar said, “The last three weeks after the China Open, she’s been working with the physio and the trainer, trying to strengthen that area.”
“Not much of badminton (in her preparation), only standing strokes. But since this is the year-ending tournament and an important one, she has certain commitments, including with the World Badminton Federation (BWF), so she needs to be there. There’s been a lot of relief and improvement (so far) but it will take a little more time for her to regain her full fitness,” coach added.
He further opined that, Saina’s training is away from the risk. She is only trained the specifics. As on the field practice is risky, to maintain that continuous feel of staying connected to the game, the current practice is being made.
He further expressed his confidence over Saina that, she would be able to play at full tilt in Dubai.
Speaking about it, coach said, “So far, she has not put pressure on the leg as per the advice of the doctors. Over there (in Dubai) on Monday and Tuesday, she will try to push and see how much she can take. Then we will take it one match at a time. It is a league format and there are four in a group.”
Vimal opined that, regardless of the success or failure, Saina will be able to participate in the game, which firstly gives her mental peace, as she can believe that, she is not away from the game.
Speaking about the ‘after Dubai schedule’, Coach said, “When she comes back, she has a lot of work to do. January is important; it's when she gets time. She has had continuous tournaments this year. I’m sure it’s the same issue with other top players also. But being an Olympic year, she has to be a little more careful.”
By Phani Ch