PBL 2018: Saina Nehwal likely to play remaining matches for the Awadhe Warriors
What’s the story?
What was supposed to be a blockbuster curtain raiser for the third season of the Premier Badminton League (PBL) with a high-voltage PV Sindhu vs Saina Nehwal clash, became a dampener for fans as Nehwal withdrew. The former World No. 1 was prevented from taking the court due to an ankle injury as the Awadhe Warriors faced off with the defending champions, Chennai Smashers.
The London Olympic bronze medallist, however, was there at the Karmabir Nabin Chandra Bordoloi AC Indoor Stadium in Guwahati all the time to cheer on the Warriors. While the thrilling contest was going on, the 27-year-old told Star Sports that she had an inflammation on the ankle of her right leg, that barred her from doing full training for almost three weeks.
In case you didn’t know
The Warriors, who are two-time semi-finalists, made a smashing start to their PBL 2018 campaign by stunning the defending champions, 4-3 on Saturday. 19-year-old Sai Uttejitha Rao Chukka turned up for the Warriors against PV Sindhu and succumbed to a 10-15, 9-15 defeat after some initial show of grit.
The heart of the matter
While explaining her injury, Nehwal also had heartening news for the countless badminton lovers of the country. The Pullela Gopichand protégé has recovered from the ankle niggle and has resumed training in full swing since Tuesday.
She still needed a bit more time to feel confident and Saturday’s withdrawal was just a precautionary measure. Saina also added that she is optimistic about her availability in all of Awadhe’s remaining matches.
Nehwal will get a considerable amount of time to heal fully and be match ready, for the Warriors’ next assignment is on December 30 against the North Eastern Warriors in New Delhi.
While it was disappointing from the fans’ point of view, a player’s health is of paramount importance. With the hectic 2018 season following right after the PBL, it was the right decision taken by the shuttle star and the Awadhe Warriors team management.