Ipoh (Malaysia): India captain and goalkeeper PR Sreejesh was today ruled out of the ongoing Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament due to a knee injury he sustained in the match against defending champions Australia.
Sreejesh has a painful right knee due to a ligament injury that generally takes two to three months to heal.
"His injury won't allow him to play anymore in the tournament. He needs further investigation when we get back to India," India coach Roelant Oltmans said after the 4-3 win over Japan on Wednesday.
"We'll try and get him back to India as soon as possible to make sure he gets the investigations done there and, if needed, further treatment. There will be no replacement goalkeeper in Sreejesh's place. Replacements are not allowed in this tournament," he added.
The 28-year-old Sreejesh was using a crutch for support as he accompanied the Indian team to the ground, but sat in the galleries when the teams lined up for the match.
He had hobbled off the pitch in the first quarter of the game against Australia on Tuesday after diving to reach a diagonal ball by an Australia striker into the Indian circle.
"The scan on his right knee today revealed the extent of injury. He will play no role in the ongoing tournament and could even miss the World League Semifinals in London in June," said an official on condition of anonymity.
"Sreejesh has been told that his injury will take 2-3 months to heal," he said.
That would rule out Sreejesh, India's first choice goalkeeper, from selection for the London event.
"Why risk him aggravating the injury when India are already assured of a spot in the World League Finals that is to be hosted in the Indian city of Bhubaneswar," the official said.
Sreejesh was appointed India's captain when long-time skipper Sardar Singh was rested from last year's Champions Trophy in London, where India finished runners-up to Australia. He was subsequently given the captaincy for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro....