World air rifle champion Abhinav Bindra on Thursday announced he would not be competing in the Doha Asian Games this December due to a back injury.
Bindra had sustained the injury at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne at the start of the year and was in Munich for treatment at the Orthozentrum Munchen Ambulantes Rehabilitations Zentrum Centre.
A definite medal prospect at Doha, Bindra was hoping to get fit for the Games. In an unfortunate turn of events, his doctor has instructed a recovery period of six weeks, followed by a transition period of three weeks.
The advice given by Dr. Schneider specifies a muscle-building programme under supervision to be conducted on Abhinav to neutralise "misbalance of the thorax-lumbar muscular corsage".
A disappointed but determined Abhinav said: "It's needless to say I'm very disappointed. Representing the country at the Asian Games is always exciting and I was looking forward to it.
"But these things happen, and one has to learn to work around it. I'm going to give my recovery 100 per cent so there are no hindrances in my preparation for the 2008 Beijing Olympics."
It may be recalled that Bindra had also skipped the season-ending World Cup finals.
Meanwhile, Baljeet Sethi, secretary, National Rifle Association of India, said the replacement for Bindra would be decided on Friday.
"The foreign coach (Laszlo Sczusak) and Sunny Thomas will be meeting us on Friday and whoever is the next best will be selected,” said Sethi.