By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | August 21, 2019
Abhishek Singh from Bulandshahr, Uttar Pradesh is a star player for U Mumba in the Pro Kabaddi League. On August 03, 2019, during a practice session, Singh injured his shoulder and walked out to the sidelines grimacing in pain.
The team, management and those around him feared the worst. Singh himself was in tears and his immediate thought was how he would be letting his team down as he thought that he would be out of action for over a month. The MRI showed torn tissues and everyone around were of the opinion that it would require surgery to get their star raider back on track.
U Mumba, the Mumbai team, however, has a strong owner in Ronnie Screwvala, who is not only a visionary but also a father-figure to his players. The confidence among the players is that they know that this being an injury-ridden sport, Ronnie is there to back them to the hilt. This they saw this last year when Siddharth Desai suffered a shoulder injury and #UMumba ensured that his injury was taken care of and he was back on track. They did not mind even when he went to another team for a whooping Rs 1.45 cr. Being a visionary, Ronnie knew who the best doctor on the job was for his team!
On Monday, Abhishek Singh was back in action much to the joy of his teammates and fans. Against #HaryanaSteelers, he almost turned a lost match into a win losing 27-30. The smile was back on Singh’s face and the management heaved a sigh of relief. But standing on the sidelines, having the biggest grin on his face was Dr Aijaaz Ashai, the team’s head physio who took up Singh’s injury as a challenge, worked with his team and got the star player back on the mat!
“Our team worked on him for two weeks. We first gave him adequate rest, then worked on reducing his pain and swelling and loosened his muscles. After that, we started work on strengthening his shoulder muscles,” says Dr Aijaaz, who confirms it was a bad tear. “I know when I need to take a call on surgery and I will never cross that boundary. For me, the player is my priority and if surgery is needed, I will ensure that they go that route. Having said that, if the injury is serious and I know that I can work on it, I will take it up,” adds Dr Aijaaz, who is well-known among the sporting and celebrity circuit in India.
Dr Aijaaz, has word of appreciation for Ronnie who ensures that his team is never lacking in anything. “Chances of injury are maximum in this sport and it helps when the team takes care of its players,” he says.
There’s a tinge of happiness in Singh’s voice too when we spoke to him over the phone after the tough match on Monday. “I was very worried after the injury. Dr Aijaaz has been wonderful and has got me back on track. My shoulder responded wonderfully to his treatment,” says Abhishek, adding, “I was missing the team and I am happy to be back and want to take the team to the top.”
As for Dr Aijaaz who has been the physio of the Mumbai and Delhi Ranji Trophy (cricket) team and also of the Indian Rugby team, Pro Kabaddi has been a challenge. Says the down-to-earth physio who has worked his magic on countless sportspersons, “As a physio, we get to learn a lot because it is more challenging as the chances of injuries to players are very high in this sport. Moreover, the players need to be in “peak fitness” not just 100 percent. They need to be a 110 per cent fit. I ensure that they are at their peak,” says the man with magic fingers.
U Mumba take on #TamilThalaivas on Friday August 25 in their next league encounter.
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