Saina Nehwal got back to training on Saturday with her first session in the gym on the treadmill. The ace shuttler has been struggling with a knee injury that affected her play in the Rio Olympics and prematurely brought curtains to her bid to improve on the bronze from London 2012. Saina crashed out in the very first round of the Olympics to Marjia Ulitina. She then announced that she was suffering from a knee injury in the run up to the Olympics but battled past it in the first two matches but couldn’t prolong it any further – thus needing surgery.
Saina uploaded a video of herself running on the treadmill. “Running first day all thanks to Heath Matthews physio for the knee rehab programme,” read the caption.
Saina Nehwal was one of India’s medal contenders in the Olympics and a favourite to win gold. But she was defeated 21-18, 21-19 by World No. 61, Ulitina. Throughout the match, she had a heavy strapping on and struggled in movement.
The injury was sustained in training 10 days before coming to Rio, and while Nehwal’s support staff attempted to patch her back into playing shape, the recovery wasn’t fast enough, and it got aggravated in Rio. Soon after the match, Saina was admitted and underwent a surgery.
“It happened just before the Olympic Games. I tried my best, but movements were not smooth. My movement was painful from the start of the Olympics. She played well no doubt, but I couldn’t move at all,” she told the press soon after the match.
Saina’s defeat in the Olympics, though, was overshadowed by the success of PV Sindhu, who returned with a silver medal for the country.