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Injury rules Dhillon out of Azlan Shah

January 12, 2004 15:00 IST
Last Updated: January 12, 2004 15:28 IST

India's leading player Baljit Singh Dhillon is unlikely to take any further part in the ongoing seven-nation Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur after suffering a fracture in his nose during the game against Malaysia on Sunday.

Coach Harendra Singh said on Monday that though doctors have left the choice to Dhillon, he is not inclined to risk aggravation of the injury by playing Dhillon in any of the remaining three matches.

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"His nose has been put in a cast and I do not want to risk playing him in this tournament. It will be another three to four weeks before he recovers," the coach said.

Dhillon was injured in a tackle with Malaysian defender Kuhan Shanmuganathan at the end of a solo run in the second half. He, however, returned to the field wearing a face mask.

"Last night his nose started bleeding so we had to take him to hospital this morning. The doctors have said he can play but it is a risk not worth taking," Harendra said.

The injury has also virtually ruled out Dhillon from the three-Test series against the Netherlands at Hyderabad in February, but he is expected to be fit for the March 2-13 Olympic qualifying tournament in Madrid, Spain.

William Xalco and Ignace Tirkey, who both also suffered injuries during the match yesterday, have declared fir and will take the field against Australia on Tuesday.

Xalco needed three stitches on his chin while Tirkey was hit on the knee during a tackle with Malaysian full back Gobinathan Krishnamurthy.

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