Thursday, Sep 04, 2003
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By Our Staff Correspondent
It all happened when Jugraj along with his friends was returning to Jalandhar after having dinner at a restaurant on the outskirts of the city. While attempting to avoid a cycle-rickshaw, Jugraj's car hit a pole. He was rushed to a hospital in Jalandhar, where doctors recommended that he be shifted to Dayanand Medical College and Hospital (DMC) here.
DMC's Medical Superintendent, Sandeep Puri said that Jugraj was brought in an extremely critical condition as he had lost considerable amount of blood. He added that Jugraj had suffered multiple fractures on the right foot, femur and pelvic bones as well as the right elbow.
The doctors said that it would take a minimum of two weeks for Jugraj to be discharged from hospital and six to eight months of intensive physiotherapy and major rehabilitation programme for him to start playing for the country again. While he would have to miss the forthcoming Asia Cup and the Afro-Asian tournament, his participation in the 2004 Olympics would largely depend on the rate of recovery.
In a message from USA, the President of the Indian Hockey Federation (IHF), K.P.S. Gill has asked the authorities to ensure best treatment for the penalty corner specialist, who won over the hearts of many hockey lovers through his dazzling performance in the recently held Champions Trophy in Holland. Mr. Gill said the IHF would foot the bill of Jugraj's treatment.
Meanwhile, a team of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) led by its regional director, P.C. Kashyap, close relatives and friends reached DMC as the news spread today. Jugraj's team mate, Gagan Ajit Singh said that the team would have to redesign strategy. The team coach, Rajinder Singh, said that his major challenge would be to keep the morale of the team high.
Our Special Correspondent from Mumbai adds:
Jugraj's competitive instincts will help him on the recovery path, feels Indian men's skipper Dhanraj Pillay.
"Jugraj has always been a fighter on the hockey field, taking shots from players like Sohail Abbas on his body. I am confident he will fight his way back to recovery following the accident,'' said the captain, speaking to The Hindu from Pune en route to Ludhiana.
Dhanraj stressed on Jugraj's rising value to the Indian team. "For the last two years, he has grown into a vital part of the side. We saw at the Champions Trophy his ability to score penalty corner goals and more importantly courage when defending corners. I am looking forward to his huge presence in the Indian team,'' said the captain.
Jugraj, emerging as one of the potent drag-flickers in world hockey, had been recommended by the skipper last season for a professional contract in the Malaysian league, a development which did not work out due to various reasons, but the four-time Olympian and playmaker remains impressed by tall, sturdy defender's hockey ability.
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