A persistent shoulder problem may possibly see India's number one singles tennis player, Somdev Devvarman, sit out for a couple of months.
“I am headed to the States to consult another doctor. I had injured the shoulder right before the US Open last year and have been advised an operation by the specialist who examined me. However, I want to get more tests done before I take a decision,” said the world's 84th ranked player a day after he withdrew from the Chennai Open.
Devvarman has been undergoing treatment since August last year and has done extensive rehab to be ready for the Olympic year. However, the problem has refused to go away. Given the passion that he has playing for the flag, Devvarman was reluctant to go off the Tour, as it would have jeopardised his chances of representing India at the London Games.
According to his advisors, only if he manages to stay in the top-70 by June 11 --- the rankings on that day will decide who qualifies for the 64-strong Olympics singles draw --- can he be certain of being in the main draw. For this reason, Devvarman was reluctant to take the two-month break that will be required to heal the injury completely.
But, in case, the latest tests confirm he needs surgery --- a minor operation that is unlikely to have any long-term effect on his career --- Devvarman will also have to sit out the Australian Open.
Now that the decision to play on despite the pain has not panned out as planned, time off from the Tour seems the likely option even if the player does not have to actually get operated and can heal through extensive physiotherapy.
Further, Devvarman may still be able to live his dream of playing the Games in case the Indian tennis federation is able to get him an invitation place for the event. Two such slots are available in the men's draw.