On the morning of their crucial league match against Japan at the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, India lost their captain and star goalkeeper PR Sreejesh to an injury he suffered during the match against Australia on Tuesday.
Sreejesh jammed his right knee into the ground while lunging forward to make a save in the 13th minute of the match, after which he limped off the pitch and did not take any further part in the game.
The nature of the injury was confirmed after Sreejesh went through an MRI scan in Ipoh on Wednesday morning and was ruled out of the tournament. The medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury might also keep the skipper out of the FIH Hockey World League semifinals in
London this June.
However, that will only be confirmed after Sreejesh goes through further tests in India.
Sreejesh travelled with the team to the stadium on Wednesday in a brace and even stood during the National Anthem which is a good sign.
“This sort of injury generally takes 2 to 3 months to heal, but any confirmation on the recuperation period can only be made once more investigative studies are done on his right knee,” said a team source.
Sources also told that team coach Roelant Oltmans hasn’t sought any replacement for the 28-year-old custodian. Sreejesh’s deputy for the tour, Akash Chikte, will take over to do full-time duty for the remainder of the tournament.
After Japan on Wednesday, India are scheduled to take on hosts Malaysia in their last league match, followed by the playoffs.
In their three matches so far, India drew with Great Britain 2-2, beat New Zealand 3-0 and lost to Australia 1-3.
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