Excerpts:Injuries are part and parcel of a sportsperson’s life. India’s ace shuttler Parupalli Kashyap is trying hard to take this injury setback in his stride – setback because the injury will not heal in time for him to be available for the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The 29-year-old Hyderabad lad is expected to return to competitive action by June. The cut-off date for Olympic qualification was May 4 and Kashyap’s knee injury puts a seal of confirmation on him not playing in the Rio Olympics. He talks about his injury and much more in an exclusive interview.
Q. How is your rehab program going on?
It’s been going on okay. I think I will need about three weeks for my medial collateral ligament (MCL) injury my knee to heal. After the MCL heals my doctors will take a call on my future course of action.
I would like to thank Olympic Gold Quest for taking good care of me after I slipped and fell in the pre-quarterfinal of the German Open. OGQ brought me to Mumbai and arranged the doctors and physios for me.
Q. Is there still any outside chance of you making your second Olympic appearance?
To be honest, my Olympic-playing hopes are over. May 4 was the cut-off date for the world’s top 16 to make the cut and since I have missing tournaments one after another due to my injury, my rankings also fell and now it is a reality that I won’t be playing in the Rio Olympics.
Q. Is it because May is the cut-off date for the world’s top 16 to qualify for the Olympics that you are missing the marquee event? Had the cut-off date had been a few months later, do you think you still had a chance of qualifying for the Olympics?
Not really. There aren’t too many tournaments happening after May.
Q. How much of a disappointment it is to miss your Olympics?
It is a big disappointment but I can’t control injuries. I must have missed six-seven tournaments since the German Open and I also have to remember that I had calf injury in October which put me of competitive action for two months. I missed about 11-12 tourneys and was out of action for six months.
Q. You skipped the 2016 SAF Games to get your calf injury adequate rest.
I took that call as I wanted to be fully fit and not carry any niggles. In fact, I was feeling really good in February – like fully fit and made my comeback in the Syed Open and in the Premier Badminton League.
Q. When do you think you can realistically expect to return to the competitive circuit?
I hope to be back on court by June. Olympic is out of question but at least a player I’m optimistic about staging a comeback.
Q. You played for Hyderabad Hotspots in the Premier Badminton League (PBL). How was your experience?
It was excellent – a league well conducted. All I hope is that it happens every year and it will be a boon for Indian badminton.