Never gave up hope: Kangujam ready to wear Indian jersey again after injury

New Delhi [India], Jan 15 (ANI): Indian midfielder Chinglensana Singh Kangujam said that he did not give up hope despite having thoughts about never being able to play for the team again after his injury.

Kangujam sustained a fracture on his right ankle during the 9th Hockey India Senior Men National Championship 2019 which sidelined him for a year.

"It was a very difficult phase for me. I was not allowed to use my lower body much which resulted in me gaining about 5-6 kilos. I was not sure if I could come back again for the Indian team," Hockey India's official website quoted Kangujam as saying.

"I didn't play hockey for about eight months but I never gave up hope. During this period I ensured I stayed fit, followed a systematic routine provided by our Scientific Advisor Robin Arkel which involved gym, cycling and I followed a strict diet. It was important to ensure my weight was under control and as such, I had given up on rice completely," he added.

Kangujam last played in the Indian jersey at the FIH Men's World Cup in December 2018. However, he is gearing up to make his comeback as he has been recalled by Chief Coach Graham Reid to the squad for the upcoming FIH Hockey Pro League 2020 matches against the Netherlands.

"I am happy to earn the India jersey again. It is important for me to make this opportunity count and give my 100 per cent in the midfield. With a good talent pool available, every player has to prove his place in the team and I am no different. I see this as a fresh start for me and I am looking forward to a good start against the Netherlands," Kangujam said.

India will play against the Netherlands on 18 and 19 January at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium in Bhubaneswar. (ANI)