Parupalli Kashyap is nursing a calf muscle injury — sustained during the recent French Open quarterfinal match against Rajiv Ouseph — and will be out of action for a few weeks.
“It will be extremely difficult to stay out of the game at this critical juncture, especially in the months leading to the 2016 Rio Olympics,” says the 29-year-old badminton player from the Gopi Chand Academy.
“The forced break, however, will give me a chance to re-assess my strong points and be better prepared when I come back,” adds Kashyap, who is supported by the Olympic Gold Quest.
“The injury also means that my ranking (now World No. 15) will fall drastically. And, the worst part is that I might just end the year around World No. 16, which again means a real struggle for me once I am back on the circuit after recovering from my injury,” explains Kashyap, whose major wins include the one against World champion Chen Long in the quarterfinals of the Indonesia Open Super Series.
“It is disgusting to have missed the four big events in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Denmark. Even a first round appearance in at least two of these events would have meant being close to making it to the Dubai Super Series Final (December 9-13) which I was very keen to take part in,” says Kashyap.
Talking about his rehabilitation, the 2014 Commonwealth Games singles gold medallist says that the recovery process has already begun, and that he is able to walk without the immobilisation boot. “I should be back on court soon, though not in full steam. I should be match fit in one month,” he says.
Talking of his career, Kashyap says, “I was really pleased with the way my career was heading before the injury break. I have been playing far more consistently this year. And if we take the case of Lin Dan or Lee Chong Wei, they peaked at the age of 28 or so. In that context, it is disappointing that I have to take a break because of injury.”
There is no denying the fact that Kashyap had a good start to 2015, winning the gold medal at the India Grand Prix, beating his practice partner Kidambi Srikanth.
Kashyap, however, is not in the mood to give up. “If you remember, before the 2012 London Olympics, I had a personal tragedy with the death of my sister and then suffered an injury.
I struggled to qualify for the London Games, but became the first men’s player from India to make it to the quarters, where I lost to Lee Chong Wei,” Kashyap recalls. “But for this injury, I would have ended the year at World No. 8. So, now it is going to be an uphill task as the cut-off month is June for the Olympics qualification,” the Arjuna Award winner points out.
Kashyap, an Assistant Manager in the Indian Oil Corporation, says, “Though I can’t look ahead as to what would happen in January next, I have to really work hard and hope for a favourable draw in the next big qualifying event for the Olympics.”
He, however, promises to come back with a vengeance.