Bengaluru: P.R. Sreejesh, who has been out of action for more than four months with a knee injury that saw him miss the World League Semi-Final in London, is on his way to making a complete recovery as he joins his teammates at SAI Centre, Bengaluru to continue his rehabilitation process.
The 29-year old stopper has been an important figure for the Indian Men’s Hockey team in the recent years as he had led the team to the Silver medal in last year’s Champions Trophy in London. But earlier this year in April 2017, when the team started their season at the 26th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Malaysia, the goalkeeper from Kerala suffered a ligament injury during the team’s match against defending Champions Australia while diving to reach a diagonal ball by an Australian striker inside the Indian circle. Leading India in the tournament, Sreejesh hobbled off the pitch inside the first quarter and has since been in recovery.
However, the experienced campaigner seemed to be in good spirits as he made his return to SAI Centre, Bengaluru on Wednesday. “It feels good to be back at the National Camp and starting some light training with my teammates. When you are with your team, you get the right motivation to work hard every day and get back to the field quickly as you want to contribute to the team,” Sreejesh said.
Sreejesh has been helping the younger players in the side by sharing his expertise with them in training, something that will benefit the likes of young goalkeeping duo Akash Chikte and Suraj Karkera in the upcoming Hero Asia Cup 2017. He said, “I think it’s important for me to share my experience with the younger players and give them feedback on their performance. That also helps me in improving my game as I can also learn from them too and when I come back on the field, I will know where I need to make improvements.”
“When you are in the team, you need to take the responsibility and not worry about how you are going to perform as an individual. When you are playing in the team, you need to give your 100% and focus on team-play so that the team can perform well as a unit,” the goalkeeper advised the younger players in the National Camp.
Sreejesh is confident that under the stewardship of new Chief Coach Sjoerd Marijne, the team will only improve. He said, “With a new coach in place now, this team will take a new direction. While moving up the ranks and maintaining consistency remains constant, I am sure along with me, all the players in the camp are looking forward to continue the hard work and aim for better results with Chief Coach Marijne.”