I didn't know if I can play ever again: Kashyap
Enduring the worst injury phase of his career, Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap says he had doubts if he would be able to play again after dislocating his right shoulder at the Premier Badminton League in January.
Ever since limping out of the court in October 2015 with a calf muscle injury, life has never been the same for Kashyap as he entered into a constant battle to regain fitness.
He recovered from a torn calf muscle, only to suffer a knee injury at the German Open, which ended his Olympic dream as from World No.7, he slipped out of contention.
"It was the most difficult phase of my life. But even after missing the Olympics due to the knee injury, I was still motivated. I told myself okay, Olympics is gone, I can't help it," Kashyap said.
"So, let me recover and 2017 will be the year for me and I got the confidence also after reaching the semifinals at Korea. But after dislocating my shoulder at PBL, I was completely messed up," he added.
The 30-year-old today reached the US Open Grand Prix Gold final with a 15-21, 21-15, 21-16 win over Korean Kwang Hee Heo.
To recover from the knee injury, he also went to the extent of shifting to Bangalore. He recovered and made a comeback in the later half of the year and reached the semi-finals at Korea.
Just when he was raring to go in the new season, he dislocated his shoulder at the PBL while playing a match against Prannoy at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.
"It was my right hand and again I had a three months break. There was a long period of bed rest and then there was the rehab. During this time, I lost it, I didn't know how I will ever play if I can't smash.
"But I had good friends and support of the doctor and physio. I completely followed what they told me to do. I took one day at a time and slowly I started getting my confidence back," added the first Indian male shuttler to reach the men's singles quarter-finals at the London Olympics.
After recovering again, Kashyap played at the China Open but he ended up pulling his hamstring.
"It was difficult for me to do the training program that the new coach had decided for rest of the players. I tried to do that and I pulled my hamstring just 10 days before the Thailand Open," he said.
Kashyap played at Thailand before entering a training program, which was specifically designed for him by chief coach Pullela Gopichand.
"It was only during the two weeks before the Australian Open that Gopi sir tweaked my training program here and there because he knew I am an experienced player and the program worked for me," said Kashyap, who had beaten Japan's Kazumasa Sakai, who had reached the finals at Indonesia the week before.
Kashyap will now be in another race of earning a place in the national team to defend his title at the Commonwealth Games next year.
"It is a good result after what seems like ages. But I know I am still in the process of getting back to my best," he signs off.