India hockey captain and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh has been ruled out of the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup owing to a knee injury he suffered in the match against defending champions Australia.
Sreejesh has a painful right knee due to a ligament injury that generally takes two to three months to heal, a team source said today ahead of India’s preliminary league fixture against Japan.
The 28-year-old Sreejesh was using a crutch for support as he accompanied the Indian team to the ground, but sat in the galleries as the teams lined up for the match.
He had hobbled off the pitch in the first quarter of the game against Australia yesterday due to a painful knee after diving to reach a diagonal ball by an Australia striker into the Indian circle.
“The scan on his right knee today revealed the extent of injury. He will play no role in the ongoing tournament and could even miss the World League Semifinals in London in June,” said an official on condition of anonymity.
“Sreejesh has been told that his injury will take 2-3 months to heal,” he said.
That would rule out Sreejesh, India’s first choice goalkeeper, from selection for the London event.
“Why risk him aggravating the injury when India are already assured of a spot in the World League Finals that is to be hosted in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar,” the official said.
Sreejesh was appointed India’s captain when long-time skipper Sardar Singh was rested from last year’s Champions Trophy in London, where India finished runners-up to Australia. He was subsequently given the captaincy for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The Indian team is not going to get a replacement for Sreejesh for the current tournament.
After today’s match against Japan, there are only two games left, to be held on Friday and Saturday.