The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Surgery on Jugraj after car crash

Jalandhar: Hockey star Jugraj Singh suffered multiple fractures in a car accident late last night for which he was operated upon for over seven hours at a Ludhiana hospital Wednesday, ruling him out for this month’s Asia Cup hockey tournament in Kuala Lumpur.

The 20-year old penalty corner specialist, a key member ofthe Indian side, will be sidelined for at least three months.

Dr J. L. Bassi, head of the orthopaedics department of the Dayanand Medical College and hospital who operated on Jugraj, said the player suffered multiple fractures. His right elbow had been badly damaged in the accident, which took place on the Grand Trunk Road near Dakoh in Jalandhar district.

Jugraj was driving the car, which also had two of his friends, when it crashed onto an electric post while trying to avoid a cycle-rickshaw, a friend of the player said.

Jugraj and six of his friends were returning to Dakoh in two cars, after dinner at a local restaurant, when the mishap occured.

Senior police officials reached the spot and took the player and the other two occupants of the car to the Guru Nanak Hospital in Jalandhar from where Jugraj was moved to DMC, Ludhiana.

“To regain his old form, jugraj will have to undergo vigorous physiotherapy,” Jassi said, adding the player had regained consciousness and was doing fine.

Along with Jugraj’s friends, in the car, was also former India defender Ramandeep Singh. Ramandeep escaped with minor bruises.

“He is out of danger, but the injuries appear to be serious,” Jugraj’s teammate Gagan Ajit Singh, who was rushed to the hospital, said after speaking to the former’s family.

Describing the injury to Jugraj as a “big blow” to the side ahead of the Asia Cup, national coach Rajinder Singh said: “We will have to carry on with the task at hand and pray that he recovers soon.

“We will badly miss him during the Asia Cup… (but) we are more concerned right now about his well being. The other things can wait,” said the coach, as he prepared to travel to Jalandhar to be by the side of the player.

The Asia Cup, to be held in Kuala Lumpur from September 21 to 28, features arch-rivals India and Pakistan, besides Asian champions South Korea, Malaysia, Japan, Bangladesh, China and Hong Kong.

Rajinder, however, was confident Jugraj will be able to take part in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Madrid, Spain next March.

“We will certainly miss him at the Asia Cup, but I am sure he will recover in time for the Olympic qualifiers,” Rajinder said. “I spoke to him over the phone before the surgery began and he was determined to play again soon. He has tremendous will power.”

Meanwhile, top former and current players, have sent in get-well messages.

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