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Sohail's lucky I am not there: Adrian

Deepti Patwardhan | February 04, 2005 15:46 IST
Last Updated: February 04, 2005 16:57 IST

India's hockey goalkeeper Adrian D'Souza will need at least another two weeks to recover from the abdomen injury he suffered during the Premier Hockey League.

"The injury has healed well. It depends on how I feel in a couple of weeks," said Adrian on Friday, after visiting Dr. Sharad Shah at Lilavati hospital in Mumbai.

Adrian D'SouzaThe 20-year-old was supposed to return to Hyderabad, where the PHL is in progress, for a check-up with Dr. Arun Shah of Apollo hospital, who operated upon him.

"I had planned to go back on the 11th [February] but since he referred me to a doctor here I won't have to. Dr. Sharad Shah was happy with the recovery and said I could be playing in a few weeks."

Adrian, 'keeping for the Maratha Warriors in the PHL, was ruled out of the remainder of the tournament when he sustained a lower abdomen injury while defending a penalty-corner in the team's first game against the Chennai Veerans on January 14. He underwent minor surgery in Hyderabad before returning to Mumbai.

The Warriors started their campaign in style, beating the Veerans 5-2, but have failed to win a single game since then.

Adrian's absence was desperately felt, especially against Pakistan penalty-corner ace Sohail Abbas, who conjured a hat-trick for the Hyderabad Sultans as they beat the Warriors 4-2 when the teams met on January 30.

Abbas, who recently retired from international hockey after scoring 274 goals, had already built-up a keen rivalry with Adrian in international meetings. His dangerous drag flicks were rendered ineffective by the Mumbai goalkeeper's strategy of charging out for the penalty-corner exercise.

"Sohail is lucky I am not there," added Adrian in lighter vein.

"Of course even our other goalkeeper [Baljit Singh] did well; he saved two penalty-corners.

"But, yes, Sohail is the best in the business and I would have tried my best to save the goals. I will really miss him, the fact that I won't be facing him."

Even though injury has kept him away from the PHL, Adrian keenly follows the tournament and his team's progress. Optimistic as ever, he is still hopeful of the Warriors winning the title.

Adrian is also impressed with the new format.

"The time-outs are really helpful. When your team scores a goal and takes the lead, you need a breather; because then the other team is charged up and will go all-out.

"When you are losing, or the strategies are not working out, we can call for a time-out and reconstruct the game plan. So the time-outs help in either situation. And they are only an option; you don't have to utilize all of them. Maybe, they are not as important for a goalkeeper, but it can help you relax mentally for a while."

Premier Hockey League: The Complete Coverage

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