A year after sustaining a double fracture, the Indian half-back is back in the mix for the upcoming FIH Pro League.
Chinglensana Singh has been an integral part of the men’s Indian hockey set-up for a long time.
Be it their 2014 Asian Games triumph or the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, or even the 2018 FIH World Cup in his own backyard, the half-back has played a vital role in ensuring that the Indian hockey team produced quality performances match after match.
But the 28-year-old’s run on the hockey field came to an abrupt end last January when he sustained an ankle injury during a domestic match in Gwalior.
Turning out for his employers, the Indian Railways, at the 2019 Senior National Championships, Chinglensana Singh ended up sustaining a double fracture to his right ankle while going in for a tackle.
The injury meant that Singh was not only devoid of some quality hockey action on the field, but what also followed was a lonely period of rehabilitation where keeping himself motivated became a herculean task.
“It was a very difficult phase for me. I was not allowed to use my lower body much which resulted in me gaining about 5-6 kilos. I was not sure if I could come back again for the Indian team,” said Chinglensana Singh, recalling his days in rehab in an interview with Hockey India.
It was not until last October that Chinglensana Singh, who last played for the national team at the 2018 World Cup, was allowed on the field.
“I didn't play hockey for about eight months, but I never gave up hope. During this period, I ensured I stayed fit, followed a systematic routine provided by our Scientific Advisor Robin Arkel which involved gym, cycling and I followed a strict diet. It was important to ensure my weight was under control and as such, I had given up on rice completely,” he said.
But with Chinglensana Singh recalled into the side for the upcoming FIH Pro League ties against the Netherlands, the Indian international wants to ensure that he gives his best to help take his team beyond the line.
“I am happy to earn the India jersey again. It is important for me to take this opportunity count and give my 100 per cent in the midfield,” he explained. “With a good talent pool available, every player has to prove his place in the team and I am no different. I see this as a fresh start for me and I am looking forward to a good start against the Netherlands.”
With the Olympics fast approaching, the upcoming months will be crucial for not only Chinglensana Singh but for every player in the Indian squad. If making the Olympic squad is a dream that the men cherish, the journey towards fulfilling that dream will begin with the double header against the Dutch.