Saina Nehwal

Mumbai, Aug 20 (IANS) Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal underwent surgery on her right knee at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital (KDAH), a top official said here on Saturday. She is likely to remain off the badminton courts for at least four months.

“She had sustained an intra-articular (inside the joint) injury to her right knee. A small fragment of bone had separated from her knee cap bone (patella). This displaced fragment was causing her impingement and pain,” KDAH Executive Director Ram Narain told IANS.

The arthroscopic surgery was performed on Saturday morning, after which Saina was now recuperating in her hospital room, he added.

She was operated upon by Dinshaw Pardiwala, head, Centre for Sports Medicine and Director, Arthroscopy and Shoulder Service, Narain said.

Pardiwala performed the surgery for correcting what was diagnosed on Friday as “right knee infrapatellar spur displaced fracture with patellar tendon impingement”.

“After the surgery,” Saina, 26, tweeted and posted a rosy, cheerful smiley, indicating her present condition after she was shifted to her room.

The four-month absence is likely to bring the World No.5 down the rankings significantly as she may miss upto seven tournaments during her lay-off period including the season-ending Dubai World Super series finals in December.

Among the first celebs to wish her post-surgery was legendary cricketer Sachin Tendulkar.

“Wish you a speedy recovery from the knee surgery. Phase of injury in a career is difficult but you have always been a fighter!”

However, earlier the plucky ace badminton player had admitted she was a “little scared” and even could not sleep through most of Friday night.

Saina even posted a picture of her bandaged right leg resting on the hospital bed for her fans and admirers.

Earlier in the day, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tweeted to Saina: “Every Indian prays for your speedy recovery.” Saina responded quickly with a tweet: “Thank u so much Sushma ma’am.”

Saina played two matches at the ongoing Rio Olympics with heavily strapped knees and yet managed one win, but found her movements restricted due to the injury.

The bronze medal winner at the London Olympics 2012, she had taken a painkiller injection before stepping onto the court for her second group match against Ukraine’s Marija Ulitina.

Her injury was reportedly considered one of the reasons behind her shocking exit at Rio and she looked visibly uncomfortable and in pain during her last match.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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