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It’s the most challenging time of my career: Saina


New Delhi: Left to nurse her Achilles tendons for more than six months, top shuttler Saina Nehwal today said it was the most challenging phase of her career and exuded confidence that she is in a good shape now and looking forward to defend her title at the India Super Series.

Saina had suffered an injury after her runner-up finish at the World Championship in August last but played at the China Super Series Premier, aggravating the injury and leading to the Achilles tendons.

She skipped the Hong Kong Open but participated at the BWF World Super Series Finals in December. She played a couple of matches at the Premier Badminton League (PBL) but had to skip the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold, SAG and ABC at Hyderabad.

“It was the most difficult injury that I had in my career. Achilles tendonitis takes a lot of time. I had some issue with my shin and I came very close to having a stress fracture also,” Saina said.

“After World Championship I was just going through the tournaments without any practice. I was not able to train. I had to play China and Dubai. Luckily I pulled out a match against Carolina. I also had issues with my abdomen too, so I had two bad injuries,” she added.

Saina said after the China Super Series Premier she was not even able to walk as she could not put weight on the feet.

“From January, I focused on strengthening my calf muscles. I had lost momentum but after two tournaments I feel much confident now. After such major injury, I was worried about my Achilles. Every morning I was scared to put my right leg. I’m happy that there is no pain now,” said the 2012 Olympics bronze medallist.

“But I have to keep on doing the strengthening because if I leave that the pain will come back. The Achilles has become prone to injuries,” she said.

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