In a major setback for the Indian hockey team, star striker S.V. Sunil has been all but ruled out of next month's World Cup after suffering a knee injury.
Sunil suffered the ligament injury on his left knee on October 4 during India's ongoing preparatory camp in Bhubaneswar.
Sunil will require four to five weeks to recover from the injury, which virtually shuts the door on him for the World Cup to be held in Bhubaneswar from November 28 to December 16.
“I suffered the injury while diving for a ball during training on October 4. I have consulted specialists here and the MRI revealed it is an lateral collateral ligament injury (LCL) injury,” Sunil told PTI at the Bhubaneswar airport.
“Initially, there was massive swelling and then the doctors here said that there appears to be a slight gap in the knee joint,” he added.
Sunil is flying to Delhi on Thursday to consult Hockey India's official doctor B K Nayak after which his availability for the World Cup will be known.
He, however, still remains hopeful.
“I am still hopeful because a week has already passed and recovery from the LCL injury generally takes four weeks. Let's see what happens. I will get a clear picture tomorrow. But if I can't play in the World Cup that would be a massive loss for me,” he said.