India suffered a huge setback ahead of the Champions Challenge-I championship in Argentina with former skipper and drag flicker Sandeep Singh unlikely to take part because of a back injury.
“He has suffered a back injury and was unable to get out of the bed for the last five days. We took him to the doctor today (Sunday) and he has been advised 10 more days of rest. He won't be able to play in the Champions Challenge,” chief coach Jose Brasa said.
According to the coach, Sandeep, who has a history of suffering injuries just before crucial tournaments, is in very bad shape as he has been unable to practice for the last few days. “This morning he had to take the help of teammates to get on to the weighing machine. He is in terrible pain and is unable to move,” said Brasa, who informed that Sandeep would be undergoing some tests including an MRI in the next few days.
Sandeep refused to speak to the media.
Brasa said Sandeep's injury was one of the reasons for naming forward Rajpal Singh as skipper for the tournament starting at Salta on December 6. The other reason was that Sandeep's performance was getting affected by the burden of captaincy. “In one match in Canada, he scored four of the five goals the team scored. But in the next match, when he was given the captaincy, he failed to score any. But that doesn't mean that Sandeep can't be picked as captain later,” Brasa said.