Parupalli Kashyap to make his comeback at the China Masters in April

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - AUGUST 12:  Kashyap Parupalli of India competes against Nguyen Tien Minh of Vietnam in the 2015 Total BWF World Championship at Istora Senayan on August 12, 2015 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)
Kashyap will finally be returning to competitive action

What's the story?

Much to the delight of Indian fans, badminton ace Parupalli Kashyap has announced his return date after recovering from a shoulder injury. Kashyap will be coming back to the BWF Tour at the China Masters to be held in Changzhou, China from April 18-23, as confirmed by the Commonwealth Games champion on his official Facebook page on Friday.

In case you didn't know...

Kashyap’s latest injury was caused while diving to the forecourt to return a shot from HS Prannoy during the Chennai Smashers vs the Mumbai Rockets final at the Premier Badminton League in January.

In spite of that injury which appeared quite painful, Kashyap still went on to complete the match which he lost in three tight games to Mumbai’s Prannoy. That result, however, did not affect his team’s chances, who clinched their maiden PBL title, courtesy of a narrow 4-3 win over the Rockets.

The heart of the matter

Kashyap had been having a rough few months because of persistent injuries. It was at the 2015 French Open Superseries where his woes began after he sustained a calf muscle tear. After he recovered from it, he, unfortunately, suffered an abdominal strain just a few months later in January while playing at the Syed Modi International.

Things got even worse for the Pullela Gopichand protege when he hurt his knee at the German Open in March. It turned out to be a serious injury that necessitated surgery and subsequently kept him out of action for six months, robbing him of a much-coveted chance to represent India at the Rio Olympics.

Kashyap looked to have found his winning touch back only in December when he made it to the semi-finals of the Korea Masters when the shoulder injury at the PBL derailed him further. It was later diagnosed to be a right shoulder dislocation, besides a tear in the labrum.

It was only last week the 30-year-old gave some hint of his comeback when he posted photos of himself joining the national camp for training.

His rankings have suffered a free fall as a result of his inability to play uninterrupted badminton for a long period of time and he is now down to 101st.

What's next?

The China Masters is the only Grand Prix Gold tournament to be held in the month of April which comes after three consecutive weeks of Superseries events – the India Open, the Malaysia Open and the Singapore Open. Kashyap has got a bye in the first round and will start his campaign against the winner of the opener between China’s Yupeng Bai and Thailand’s Suppanyu Avihingsanon.

Author's Take

It is heartening to see that the former World No. 6 has recovered and is feeling confident enough to resume competitive play. Despite being bogged down by numerous injuries, there has never been any dearth of passion from the two-time Syed Modi International winner.

Having him back will only add to the quality of play from the men’s singles shuttlers of India. Let us hope his upcoming stint is not interrupted by any injury and he can steadily climb his way back to the top echelons of the sport where he once was.

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