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Home > Sports > Hockey > PTI > Report

Trainer working on Jugraj's body stiffness

May 17, 2004 18:58 IST

Eight months after suffering a near-fatal car accident, penalty-corner expert Jugraj Singh is back in action, training hard in Barog, Himachal Pradesh, in an attempt to regain his place in the Indian hockey team.

He may not be fit in time to make it to the Athens Olympics, which is less than three months away, but the Punjab player is confident of returning to the national squad in the near future.

"I missed the game a lot in the last eight months. But I will definitely comeback and fulfill the expectations of my team mates, fans and my well-wishers who have really motivated me a lot after recovering from the injury," he said.

"I had the confidence. Otherwise, I would not have been here now."

Jugraj suffered multiple injuries in a car accident near Jalandhar soon after last year's Champions Trophy and after surgery and several weeks of rest is making a comeback to competitive hockey. He is excited to be at the ongoing camp for Olympic probables, but has to follow a different training schedule, prepared by trainer Sampath Kumar.

"It feels good to back with the team. I am excited about joining them in the camp. Life has again become normal.

"I have a separate training schedule and I am following it sincerely," he said.

Trainer Kumar, who put Jugraj through some exercises at a gymnasium on Monday, said it is necessary to give the player a training schedule different from other players in order to bring him to normal fitness.

"We are working on him and he would be back to normal fitness in 10 to 15 days," Sampath said, adding that he is working on removing body stiffness and some other complications that the player is still facing.

"His body is stiff. His flexibility and agility is to be worked on. His in-muscle in both the legs is not balanced.

"He is now doing some elbow-stretching exercises and working on development of his endurance."

Sampath complimented Jugraj for the "remarkable will-power" he has displayed and said he will be put through different training methods which will be crucial for his return to the international stage.

"The last phase is important for him. He is very excited about resuming playing but he should not be rushed back," said the trainer.

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