India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra’s recovery from elbow surgery will be delayed by almost six weeks after issues with travelling and lack of resources, according to his German coach Uwe Hohn.
He is being expected to be fit by early March after undergoing treatment for an elbow injury under physiotherapist Anita van der Lingen in Potchefstroom, South Africa according to a report in The Indian Express.
This is a big year for Chopra with the World Championships in Doha in September as well as the Diamond League series through the year and the Asian Athletics Championships in April with a year to go for the Tokyo Olympics.
But the preparation has been far from ideal as Chopra’s treatment got delayed due to lack of an expert physiotherapist at their base, the National Institute of Sport in Patiala, continued the report.
“In India, there is not much support for throwers. We have one masseur in Patiala for the boys and one woman for the girls. But their knowledge is not good. Neeraj has his own personal physio, who is with him all the time. But he wasn’t able to fix the elbow problem so we were pretty lucky to find a good physio here. She fixed the issues of Neeraj’s injury during the first 2-3 weeks and even for the other throwers here. She is working with top international and South African athletes and knows what javelin throwers need,” Hohn told The Indian Express from Potchefstroom.
Apart from Chopra, throwers Shivpal Singh, Rajinder Singh, and Sahil Siwal are also part of the camp at the North-West University in Potchefstroom, a high altitude centre, since January.
However, the camp itself was delayed after another planned camp in Australia was cancelled, all the while Chopra needing assistance for his elbow.
“Neeraj could not train like the way I wanted him to train because of the elbow. Even in South Africa we needed about two weeks for Neeraj to get much better,” Hohn added
In December, Hohn and Chopra had raised a similar issue, complaining about the delay in procuring equipment, insufficient support staff among problems. “We have just one masseur for nine male athletes and one girl for the female athletes in the camp here and sorry both are not good masseurs! Good massages are also important for a faster recovery, better training and better results,” Hohn had said then.
In response, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore had spoken about ‘cutting bureaucratic procedures’ after the complaint of poor assistance from the Sports Authority of India.