Kashyap: 'I didn’t know if I could play again'

Ever since limping out of the court in October 2015 with a calf muscle injury, life has never been the same for Kashyap as he battled constantly to regain fitness.

Parupalli Kashyap entered the final of the US Open Grand Prix Gold with a win over Korean Kwang Hee Heo.   -  The Hindu

After dislocating his right shoulder at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) in January, Indian shuttler Parupalli Kashyap said he had doubted if he would be able to play again.

Ever since limping out of the court in October 2015 with a calf muscle injury, life has never been the same for Kashyap as he battled constantly to regain fitness.

He recovered from a torn calf muscle, only to suffer a knee injury at the German Open, which ended his Olympic dream and slid from world No. 7 in the rankings.

“It was the most difficult phase of my life. But even after missing the Olympics due to the knee injury, I was still motivated. I told myself okay, Olympics is gone, I can’t help it,” Kashyap told PTI.

“So, let me recover and 2017 will be the year for me and I got the confidence after reaching the semifinals at Korea. But after dislocating my shoulder at PBL, I was completely messed up,” he added.

The 30-year-old on Sunday reached the US Open Grand Prix Gold final with a 15-21, 21-15, 21-16 win over Korean Kwang Hee Heo.

To recover from the knee injury, he also went to the extent of shifting to Bangalore. He recovered and made a comeback in the later half of the year and reached the semifinals in Korea.

Just when he was raring to go in the new season, he dislocated his shoulder at the PBL while playing a match against Prannoy at the Siri Fort Sports Complex here.

“It was my right hand and again I had a three-month break. There was a long period of bed rest and then there was the rehab. During this time, I lost it, I didn’t know how I will ever play if I can’t smash."

“But I had good friends and support of the doctor and physio. I completely followed what they told me to do. I took one day at a time and slowly I started getting my confidence back,” he added.

Kashyap then played at the China Open but he ended up pulling his hamstring.

“It was difficult for me to do the training program that the new coach had decided for rest of the players. I tried to do that and I pulled my hamstring just 10 days before the Thailand Open,” he said.

Kashyap played at Thailand before entering a training program, which was specifically designed for him by chief coach Pullela Gopichand.

“It was only during the two weeks before the Australian Open that Gopi sir tweaked my training program here and there because he knew I am an experienced player and the program worked for me,” said Kashyap.

Kashyap will now be in another race of earning a place in the national team to defend his title at the Commonwealth Games next year.

“It is a good result after what seems like ages. But I know I am still in the process of getting back to my best,” he said.

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