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Updated: October 8, 2009 14:21 IST

Baljit to return home

PTI
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The Hindu

Having regained partial vision in his injured right eye after three surgeries in the United States, hockey goalkeeper Baljit Singh will start for home on Friday and the Sports Ministry is planning to get his cosmetic surgery done at a reputed institute like the AIIMS.

Baljit was sent to the US in August after a golf ball, with which he was practising in a Pune camp, sneaked through his visor and damaged the right eye.

He underwent three surgeries in the US that restored his partial vision and the Sports Authority of India officials said the rest could be done easily at home.

“We have sent him the ticket to return home after doctors there told us that he can now come back. We have achieved the best possible result and we are extremely happy that he has regained substantial vision in his damaged eye,” Pravir Krishn, SAI joint secretary and special officer for Commonwealth Games, told PTI.

“The doctors in the US have made a special contact lens for him and all our efforts have borne fruit,” he said. Krishn said the Sports Ministry was not washing its hand of the issue and would do everything to help the goalkeeper regain full vision.

“Now what is left is cosmetic surgery, which can be done at AIIMS at one tenth of expense and without compromising on the level of efficiency. So there is no point keeping him abroad,” he said.

The SAI official said Sports Minister MS Gill’s personal interest made things possible for Baljit.

“The Minister personally looked after him and we too did not take it as another case before us but treated him like a member of the sports family. It gives us immense pleasure that he can now enjoy a fairly successful professional career,” Krishn said.

Another official said the Ministry has spent around Rs five lakh on Baljit and they would do everything to ensure that the player gets the best facility for his cosmetic surgery when he returns.

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