Saina Nehwal fears her latest injury could yet prove to be career-ending
A few months on from surgery on a comeback trail, Saina Nehwal has her doubts. There remain uncertainties in her own mind about how far she can stretch her body. The girl who brought Indian badminton on the World map not only have to fight doubters, but also the demons in her head.
Speaking to ESPN in an interview, Nehwal quipped, "It is okay, many people will think my career will end and I won't come back. I also think somewhere deep in my heart that maybe it is the end of my career, so let's see how it is. Maybe, you never know."
When Saina Nehwal, went down in the group stage of the Rio Olympics, many fretted that India had lost their only hope of winning a medal in Badminton. A week later, India was dancing to the tunes of the sweet sound of PV Sindhu’s racquet as she left everyone ablaze on her way to the final, where she would eventually bow down to Carolina Marin, but not before taking her the full distance and then some.
The name of Saina Nehwal had taken a backseat as the land of a billion rejoice the triumph of their new golden girl who had earned them a silver at the Olympics. Finally, when the dust settled, we all got to know the pain Saina was concealing as she went in search of a second Olympic medal after delivering a bronze in London.
And the news might yet turn more depressing for the former World No. 1 who suffering anterior knee pain since August 1st this year, finally underwent surgery to repair a right knee infrapatellar spur displaced fracture.
Broken bone of my knee pic.twitter.com/lSBCrVXcJL— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) August 21, 2016
Only a few weeks removed from a surgeon’s knife going through her knees,Nehwal is back on the place she knows the best, the badminton court. Back in action at the Karnataka Badminton Association courts in Bangalore, the pain is still real. Not only physical but mental as well. But the urge to prove the doubters wrong remains strong as ever.
"I just want to work hard, I just want to take care of my body and keep working on the areas that were weak and not think about winning or losing. I will be more than happy if people think I am finished, it is nice in a way, people think a lot about me, maybe now they won't!” muses the 26-year-old.
"I am going to think about the next one year, it is year by year now, I am not going to set a target for the next 5-6 years now. My mind may change in the next one, two or three years, so for me it is just about how to take care of my body and be in good shape because these injuries are quite painful. Even if I win a tournament, the happiness is not so much because of the amount of pain the injury gives."
For now, the only realistic target for the champion seems to be to get back to the normalcy of playing on the circuit. The rest, might yet prove to be an unheralded story which some Bollywood director might pickup for the ultimate biopic.
Here is to seeing Saina Nehwal back in action and her best on the Badminton court.