Saina Nehwal’s comeback at the China Open will depend on her physio’s decision
Clarifying earlier reports of her comeback at next month’s China Open, Indian shuttle queen Saina Nehwal has recently said that her return will actually depend on the decision of her physio Heath Matthews. The former World No. 1, who is recovering from a knee surgery, added that her target is to resume competitive play at the China Open but how well she is moving on the practice courts also needs to be taken into account before she rejoins the Tour.
“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 on the court and how better I recover,” the 26-year-old said at an event last week.
Saina’s quest for an Olympic medal in 2016 went up in smoke when an injury-hit Nehwal crashed out of the Rio Games in the group stage. The injury was later diagnosed to be an infrapatellar spur displaced fracture and patellar tendon impingement in her right knee and it required her to have a surgery.
For the last few weeks, the London Olympic bronze medallist was in rehab and took to swimming and running as she focussed on getting back strength in her knee. Nehwal admitted that the rehab was rigorous and she is happy that she has crossed that stage now.
“It was not an 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 I had to do it 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,” she stated.
The 2015 All England Open and World Championship runner-up returned to the courts in Bangalore two weeks ago. It was that week itself that her father, Harvir Singh announced that Nehwal is eyeing a return to competition at the China Open Superseries Premier which the Indian won in 2014.
The tournament begins on November 15 and Saina has less than two weeks now to prepare for it. But the shuttler is unfazed by the limited time. She is not bothered by her game, rather her priority now is to get back to shape, she clearly pointed out.
“If my game is okay I need not have to worry. I’m looking forward to getting back into shape and be fit enough.”