Swapna to undergo series of tests, may undergo surgery: Coach

Barman, who became the first Indian heptathlete to win a gold in the Asian Games, had said that she was carrying injuries while competing in Jakarta.

Swapna Barman has been having problems at her lumbar (lower back) region since the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar.   -  Getty Images

Asian Games gold medallist heptathlete Swapna Barman will undergo a series of medical tests and may opt for surgery is required on her problematic lower back, her coach Subhas Sarkar said on Friday.

Barman, who became the first Indian heptathlete to win a gold in the Asian Games, had said that she was carrying injuries while competing in Jakarta.

She has been having problems at her lumbar (lower back) region since the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, where she had won a gold and was also carrying minor knee injuries.

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“Last time, I did not take the risk of surgery because of the Asian Games, but now, we will see what is her condition. She may have to go for a surgery, we will see what the doctors advice after MRI and CT scans,” Sarkar said on the sidelines of an SAI felicitation, here.

Sarkar said that Barman’s medical treatment was the priority now. “Bhangachora gari niye besi dur egono jabena (Can’t run with a broken car). She can collapse if she competes now,” he said.

“I have not kept any major competition for her in 2019. I will not make her compete until she fully recovers. The priority is to make her injury free for which she may even have to go through surgery,” he added.

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Barman will first seek an appointment with a dentist to treat her tooth infection, which also had bothered her in Jakarta and then, head home in Jalpaiguri for a break of one to two weeks.

“It will be quite an emotional thing as I will meet my family after more than a year (after winning gold at Asian Championships in July last year). My mother always asks ‘tui bhalo achis toh’ (hope you are doing well). I am missing them a lot,” she said.

After she returns to Kolkata from home, Barman and her coach will travel to Mumbai to meet Dr. Anant Joshi to ascertain the exact nature of her injuries.

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Sarkar said that as of now an Olympic medal is too far-fetched a dream for Barman. “The realistic aim is to break the national record and score 6,300-plus next year. She can achieve if she keeps her focus,” he said.

The coach recalled the plight Barman underwent a few months back as Barman was on the verge of being ruled out days before her Asian Games departure.

“We have been making rounds to Mumbai for her treatment and I was told that she should skip as it would be quite an embarrassment if she pulls out in Jakarta. There would have been questions.”

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Such was the situation that Barman had to undergo trials on July 16, Sarkar recalled. “But, she passed the trials with flying colours. Then, after landing in Jakarta, the toothache surfaced. I told her to give her best and compete without targeting medals,” he said.

"Many have contributed in Barman’s success, including the roadside tea seller, who would give me tea on time as the practice would stretch beyond time," Sarkar said.

“I remember Gopal would make sure to bring tea that kept me going. Now, everyone is happy for her and this gives me the true satisfaction,” he signed off.