Pro Kabaddi League 2017 Season 5: Jaipur Pink Panthers captain Manjeet Chhillar plays through the pain despite serious injury
The Jaipur Pink Panthers lost out to the Telugu Titans when the two sides met at the Thyagaraj Sports Complex in Delhi on Wednesday as part of the third Inter-Zonal Challenge Week of the fifth season of the Pro Kabaddi League. The match ended 41-34 in favour of the Titans as their talismanic raid machine Rahul Chaudhari ran riot and finished with 17 points, thus keeping his side's chances of making it to the playoffs alive.
For Jaipur, Pawan Kumar too picked up a mammoth 17-raid point haul but he was let down by his side's defence as captain and key defender Manjeet Chhillar missed a number of tackles. He ended the game with just the solitary tackle point to his name and four missed ones and after the match, he spoke to Sportskeeda about the loss and made quite a startling revelation.
"My ligament is badly injured and requires surgery. However, since many of our senior players are also unfit, I have decided to take to the mat," revealed.
The extent of the injury crisis at the Pink Panthers is quite a shocking one as Manjeet explained that Selvamani K, Jasvir Singh and Tushar Patil are all not match fit and since his side cannot play completely with youth players, they have decided to soldier on and contribute as much as possible.
Chhillar rued his missed tackles and even went on to say that it was because of him that the team lost. "I would have liked to raid too and get some points for my team but it was not possible, given my fitness situation," stated the former Bengaluru Bulls and Puneri Paltan man.
In the post-match press conference, Balwan Singh, the Pink Panthers coach, spoke about how he was forced to bring on Selvamani, despite him returning after a two-month layoff. "It was his first match after such a long time and ideally, we wanted him to get a few minutes on the mat and get some game time under his belt," he quipped.
"However, Jasvir got injured during the match and was unable to play to his full capacity. As a result, we were forced to bring on Selvamani early," stated Singh.
The Pink Panthers still have their home leg to go and have eight matches left to try and register a top three finish. They have a hectic schedule ahead of them as they take on the Tamil Thalaivas and Bengal Warriors in Chennai on Saturday and Sunday respectively, after which they will have six games in seven days in the Pink City.
Qualification does seem like a daunting prospect for Manjeet Chhillar and his men, but with the kind of leader and players he is, one can always hope that he will take his side through.