Back to training after going through a rigorous rehabilitation process, ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Tuesday said she is working hard to make a return at the China Super Series Premier but will take a call only after consulting her physio Heath Matthews. “My name is there. My physio (Matthews) feels I can do it, and I’ll accordingly decide on playing in the China Super Series Premier. I have two-and-half weeks more to see how well I move in the court and how better I recover,” Saina told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of apparel brand Kaira’s 13th showroom.
The former World No.1 had to undergo surgery for her knee injury which had affected her progress at the Rio Olympics. The 26-year-old had lost her second group match against Ukraine’s Maria Ulitina to crash out of the mega event.
China Super Series Premier will be held from November 15-20 and Hong Kong Open Super Series from November 22-27.
Saina said it was not easy to recover from injury as she had to spend six to seven hours on rehab every day. “It was not easy task for me as I had to work six to seven hours only on rehab. It is a boring thing to do it again and again, but had to do to strengthen my knee. I’m happy that I crossed that stage now and I am back in the court, and definitely it will improve,” said the London Games bronze medallist.
Replying to a query, Saina said it was a heartbreaking moment for her to not able to compete at her best at the Rio Olympics due to the injury. Saina said she is working hard on her training and fitness. “Actually it takes four months for a player to recover from injury, but I have come back in two and half months, and I could do that because of my physio Keith Mathews, so big thanks to him,” she said.
The 26-year-old from Hyderabad said she is not worried about her game, but eagerly looking forward to get back into shape for the upcoming tournaments. “If my game is okay I need not have to worry. I’m looking forward to get back into shape and be fit enough,” she said.
Saina was recently appointed as a member of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Athletes Commission by the IOC president Thomas Bach and the Indian said it is a huge responsibility. “It was totally unexpected. This is a very big thing that I am the first Indian woman to be appointed. It will be a very huge responsibility to take up the problems of the athletes before IOC. I hope I could do good to my game and other games,” she said.