Odisha Sun Times Sports Bureau
Bhubaneswar/Bengaluru, Sep 18:
After failing to make it to the Rio Olympics squad due to injury, Odisha’s star hockey player Birendra Lakra is back in action on the turf.
Key defender Birendra Lakra has been inducted to the 26-member core probable group for the four-week camp at Bengaluru which began today. The team will be sweating it out for the upcoming Asian Champions Trophy (ACT) to be held in Kuantan, Malaysia next month.
The 25-year-old from Odisha’s Sundargarh district was ruled out of the Rio-bound squad after he suffered a ligament tear in his right knee during Ranchi Rays’ Hockey India League match against Dabang Mumbai earlier in February this year.
Though he underwent a surgery at Mumbai’s SportsMed facility, he had not fully recovered from the injury and selectors had decided to keep him off the turf.
Indian hockey team finished eighth at the recently concluded Olympics. With the inclusion of Lakra, the team would augment its backline.
The 26 core probables are skipper PR Sreejesh, Sardar Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Chinglensana Singh, Danish Mujtaba, Surender Kumar, Abhinav Kumar Pandey, Akash Chikte, Rupinder Pal Singh, Pardeep Mor, Jasjit Singh Kular, Birendra Lakra, Satbir Singh, Dharamvir Singh, Talwinder Singh, Lalit Kumar Upadhyay, Mohd. Amir Khan, Affan Yousuf, Manpreet Singh, VR Raghunath, SV Sunil, Devindar Walmiki, Nikkin Thimmaiah, SK Uthappa, Kothajit Singh and Ramandeep Singh.