A career-threatening injury took one of most talented midfielders of the country to the depths of despair but Eugeneson Lyngdoh refused to give up and is hoping to regain form after a surgery and a successful rehabilitation.

“I was sidelined for a season after suffering the injury last year. After the surgery and a good rehabilitation programme I am now trying to achieve what I could not do last season,” Lyngdoh, dubbed as one of the best Indian midfielders, said.

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Proving his indispensability in every side, the player from Shillong earned more than Rs. 1 crore in both the Indian Super League auctions held in 2015 and 2017, when he joined ATK. “I had a good pre-season in Spain and am feeling quite well. I am looking to replicate what we did in pre-season and hope to get better and better,” Lyngdoh said.

The ATK midfield dynamo said he underwent surgery in January this year to repair a ruptured lateral collateral ligament on his left knee. “I had a long rehabilitation programme with the ATK physio and things seem to be working fine with me now. I am trying to motivate myself and be mentally strong when I get on the field,” he said. “While remaining off the field I tried to be with positive people who gave me good vibes. It is very important for me to play and be available for every game, every week,” Lyngdoh added.

On being asked how hopeful he was about getting his place back in the National side, which will be playing in the AFC Asian Cup in January, Lyngdoh said he was not looking too far. “The moment you try to overdo things, you complicate matters. I am trying to keep things simple and regain the rhythm gradually,” he said.

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ATK coach Steve Coppell said that he would be giving a “kid-glove” treatment to his prized midfielder and help him recover to his best potential. “It is an injury from which players recover completely nowadays. He looks in good shape and is growing in confidence day by day,” Coppell said.