PIC: Kelvinder (right).
WHILE the national hockey team is in Europe for friendlies and a Five-Nation, one of Malaysia’s best is training at home and fighting against time to recover from a knee operation.
Kelvinder Singh, voted as the best player in the 2005 Junior World Cup even though Malaysia finished 10th, suffered a knee injury after the Azlan Shah Cup in May and just returned to training two weeks ago.
He missed the China, Australia and now Europe Tours, and might even miss the Commonwealth Games boat, placing his selection for the Asian Games in doubt.
“Kelvinder went for an operation and recently returned to training and that is why we did not want to rush and field him for the Europe Tour.
“We know his capabilities, and when the team returns from Europe at the end of the month, there is still another month to decide on his selection into the Commonwealth Games squad,” said team manager George Koshy.
And even is he does not go to Delhi: “He has always been an asset to Malaysia, and even if his injury does not fully recover for the Commonwealth Games, we will still consider him for the Asian Games,” said George.
Kelvinder has always been among the fittest in the national side, and hits the 14 mark when tests are conducted.
“We have to select players who are fully fit for both the Games because only 16 are allowed to be registered, of which two spots are taken up by goalkeepers.
“That is why we don’t want to rush Kelvinder, and only field him when we are sure that his movements are back to normal.”
Malaysia played two matches against Ireland and drew the first 3-3, and won the second 4-2.
After playing two more matches against the Irish, the team will head for France to play a Five-Nation against the hosts, Poland, Ireland and Scotland in preparation for the Com monwealth Games in New Delhi from Oct 3-14.