Being replaced by Nikhil Kanetkar for the Doha Asian Games seems to have shaken up Arvind Bhat. The Karnataka shuttler, who suffered a knee injury in August, has finally decided to consult Delhi orthopaedist Dr Ashok Rajgopal and is likely to undergo surgery.
Speaking from Bangalore, Bhat said, “I was looking forward to playing at the Asian Games. But now all that is gone. I am coming to Delhi on November 21 to meet Dr Rajgopal. It was Gopi Chand who advised me to consult him.”
It was Dr Rajgopal who resurrected Gopi's career after the Hyderabadi suffered a career-threatening knee injury in 1996.
At the time of injury, Bhat had been playing possibly the best badminton of his career, having upset the then world No. 2. Kenneth Jonassen (Denmark) in the pre-quarterfinals of the Singapore Open in June.
"Things were going great for me. I had upset Jonassen, I was on a high and then, within a couple of months, I was down in the dumps. I must admit it was a very frustrating experience," he admitted.
The most ironical part of the story is that Bhat sustained the injury playing football, not badminton, at a training camp.
"I was playing football in Hyderabad. I fell awkwardly while trying to execute a kick and badly twisted my left ankle. Though there was no swelling, but every time I exerted pressure on my left knee, it would pain a lot. That was when I realised there was something seriously wrong," he said.
He admitted he should have been more careful. “Yes, I was careless in not looking after my knee well. I should have visited a doctor immediately," he said.