Indian hockey's penalty corner specialist Sandeep Singh was out of danger after a bullet that him accidentally on Tuesday was extracted, though doctors described his condition as critical.
"His condition is critical but out of danger," Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) medical superintendent AK Gupta told reporters.
Sandeep, 20, had been kept in the intensive care unit (ICU) and will be under observation for 48 hours before deciding the next course of action.
Sandeep sustained gunshot injuries in an accidental firing while he was travelling to Delhi by the Shatabdi Express on his way to participate in an international tournament in Germany.
Experts at the PGIMER said that India's ace drag-flicker - who has a 66 percent penalty corner conversion rate at the international level - could be out of action for at least six months.
The bullet that accidentally hit Sandeep had partially fractured his spine. It has also damaged other vital organs including the kidney, liver and stomach.
Orthopaedics and sports injury specialist Mandeep S Dhillon told IANS that it was too early to hazard a guess on how long will it take for Sandeep to recover completely.
"He has considerable damage to internal body parts like the kidney, stomach and liver. The recovery of the spine will come much later," Dhillon said.
Dhillon, who has been associated with Sri Lankan spinner Muthiah Murlitharan in his bowling action correction, said that Sandeep could take a few months before he could take to the game once again.
The player was injured when the service revolver of a railway police official accidentally went off. Sandeep, who was bound for Germany for the hockey world cup starting Sep 6, was rushed to the Kurukshetra civil hospital with serious injuries in the chest and abdominal area.
The hockey star, who did not regain consciousness for nearly an hour after being accidentally hit by the bullet from close range, was seen talking when he was brought to the PGIMER.
The firing, from the revolver of railway protection force assistant sub-inspector Mohar Singh, took place inside coach C-10 as the super fast train was nearing Kurukshetra. The police official has been arrested. He has also been suspended from service.
Armed guards accompany the train on its three-hour journey from here for security reasons. A number of VIPs, including governors, chief ministers and others travel frequently by the train.
Sandeep, along with some other players, was coming to Delhi to catch a flight for Germany on Thursday.
The player had emerged as India's new drag-flicker for penalty corners after another Punjab player Jugraj Singh was seriously injured in a road accident in 2003.
Sandeep had boarded the train from Chandigarh on Tuesday morning. The train was scheduled to reach Delhi at 10 a.m. but made an unscheduled stop at Kurukshetra to enable officials to rush Sandeep to the hospital.