Holding them up in comparison, Jeev Milkha Singh nodded towards the right index finger and remarked, “It’s got a little bent.”
The after-effect of the injury he’d picked up in his hour of triumph was there to see. July’s Scottish Open did end a four-year title drought, but the pain he endured that week, has rendered that outing unforgettable.
The advice was to lie low for four months, but Jeev did so for four weeks.
“No way I was going to stay away (from golf) for that long,” he said. Ignoring the counsel caused it to linger longer, yet, there wasn’t a hint of regret as he shared his road to recovery.Raring to go
Relief writ large, he remarked, "I’m injury-free at last!"
Since the Dubai Desert Classic last month, the protective sheath has been lying at home and though he stays cautious, having played just five events this season, the chin is up.
“After a long time, I worked extremely hard last week (in Chandigarh),” he said, the hitting obviously to his liking.
It’s natural to hold back while going through with the drive, but the slowdown has got registered in the sub-conscious mind too.
“It shows up at times and will go with time,” he said.
Like his instinctive ways of shielding the finger, Jeev hopes the wind will play the saviour this week at the Avantha Masters.
“I would like it to blow, as it will be a good test of putting skills,” he said, pointing to the open stretches of the Jaypee Greens.
What he construed was the presence of long hitters could render this euro 1.8 million event into a test of brute strength, with each trying to eclipse the other’s driving.
At 41, the spirit is militant but the body had slowed down.
Watching the ball sail off the tee still sends a thrill down Jeev, but while going through with the urge to replicate or even better it, realisation dawns that his frame doesn’t share the enthusiasm.
With the atmosphere getting a tad heavy, he laughed.
“I’m still 21 at heart and that’s enough to keep the fire burning.”
At 99 in the world rankings, the aim is to break into the top-50, as that will allow him a shot at the long-standing desire of winning The Masters.