Saina may attain full fitness by Republic Day

HYDERABAD: Here is some good news for badminton buffs, more particularly for the fans of Saina Nehwal.

The ace shuttler, who has been struggling with a few injuries, is likely to attain full fitness before the start of next season on January 26. Disclosing this here, physio Kiran Challagundla told ToI that he is expecting the superstar to be free from all injuries by the third week of January, just in time for the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow. Saina is the defending champion and if fully fit she could easily extend her reign in Lucknow.

Ever since she was diagnosed with ankle and groin injuries this November, Saina sought the help of Kiran, who is based out of Gopichand’s Academy. Such was the severity of her injuries that she did not mind to come to Gopi’s academy. And after regularly making use of the services of Kiran on weekends, Saina is much better now. Had she skipped the Super Series Finals, she could have been fine by now.

“She has four injuries. But the most severe are the injuries in the groin and ankle areas. The ankle and groin are almost cured… I can say 75 to 80%. And I expect her be 100% fit by the third week of January. As of now she is still in the rehabilitation stage. Within a few days she will be returning to full practice,” Kiran said.

Queried if Saina will be aggravating her injuries by participating in the Premier Badminton League, which will be held between January 2 and 17, Kiran said that he would prefer the champion shuttler to compete in the league.

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“Playing in leagues like PBL will actually help players who are recovering from injuries. In PBL the matches are of short duration. They play only for 15 points and it would hardly take 20 minutes and hence I would encourage injured players in these matches. They will get the feel of pressure situation during matches and also some practice. I think PBL will help players like Saina and Kashyap to get back on track. At the most they will be playing one match and get two to three days rest,” Kiran said. It is learnt that Saina’s injuries were not managed properly at the earlier stage. Rather than giving time for full recovery, the injuries were covered and a half-fit Saina played many tournaments aggravating the injuries.

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