Indian javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who hasn’t competed this year after a right elbow injury needed surgery, is on his way to complete recovery soon.

The 21-year-old had started proper training just a couple of days back after months of rest and his elbow feels good.

The Commonwealth and Asian Games champion had undergone arthroscopic surgery to remove bone fragments from his right elbow in Mumbai in May and has been in rehab since.

He is hopeful of being back on the track soon but admitted that he might not be ready in time for the World Athletics Championships in Doha in September.

“If I had already qualified for it, I would push for it. But right now, it’s very difficult and I don’t want to strain my elbow again and risk a career-threatening injury. And the time is really short,” he told the Indian Express in an interview.

The Haryana youngster was hopeful of a miracle though.

“But we should remain positive and if God performs a miracle, who knows, I might still be able to compete at the Worlds. For now, the focus is getting back in shape,” he added.

The athlete got philosophical about the recovery phase of his relatively young career. “What I’ve learnt with experience is that no athlete is spared from the pain of going through an injury. You have to accept it. Staying positive is key. When I was told that I had to go under the knife, I was like, let’s get done with it. I had no fear,” he said.

Chopra spent his months away from the sport playing another kind of a game, the infamous PUBG on his mobile phone. This activity even involved a few of his friends from the national camp.

“I also played a lot of PUBG on my phone. It’s fun because you can talk to your friends while playing with them online. I have a few national campers and some old friends who join me in the game,” he said. The other leisure activities involved good music, shopping and a nice meal.

The world junior champion also shared his thoughts on Hima Das’ five gold medals which has captured the fancy of the nation. “I am also really happy to see Hima and that Indian athletics is getting a lot of attention. But I know she is a very wise girl and wouldn’t get carried away by this recent gold surge. Winning these events are good, but she shouldn’t be satisfied because the ultimate goal is to do well at the Worlds and Olympics. I also want to tell all the people who are praising her now to stand by her if, God forbid, she has a poor outing,” he said.

Read the full interview here