- 'May be (play) tournaments slated in November if everything goes well.'
Her recovery from a knee injury going on smoothly, India's star shuttler Saina Nehwal is hoping to return to the courts by the end of next month.
"Not before end (of) October, so I will miss tournaments till that time. I am World No. 8 at present, it may go down further," Saina said in Hyderabad on Wednesday.
"We have already done six weeks of rehab and still five to six more weeks are to be put before I go to courts for practice".
The 26-year-old shuttler, who won a bronze medal in the London Olympics in 2012, hopes to play tournaments in November if everything goes as per plan.
"May be (play) tournaments slated in November if everything goes well," she said, when asked which event she planned play next.
Saina is undergoing a rehab programme, following a surgery to the right knee at a Mumbai hospital last month.
"I am fine; the rehab plan is working nicely under the guidance of Heath Matthews, Head Sports Medicine, Sir H N Reliance Foundation Hospital Mumbai. I am highly thankful to them and Ms Chandan Poddar, physio, for the help," she said.
Saina had sustained an intra-articular injury (inside the joint) to her right knee and a small fragment of bone had separated from her patella (knee cap bone), her doctors had claimed.
The badminton ace sustained the injury in August and it only got aggravated during the Rio Olympics. She had lost in the group stages after suffering a straight game defeat against Ukraine's Marija Ulitina in her second match.
Observing that badminton can improve further in the country, she said academies with good coaches can produce bright talent.
"We have to learn a lot from the present scenario and improve further. Academies manned with good coaches will help produce better talent," Saina said.
Image: Saina Nehwal