Since winning the Scottish Open in July 2012, Jeev Milkha Singh has been dealing with injuries. First, the right index finger and then the right shoulder. As a result, his performances have been ordinary.
Given the die-hard optimism and maturity of Jeev, there is reason to believe that much better results are in store.
Having made the ‘cut’ in two of the three events he played in the past month, Jeev is looking to build on the “good start” to the season.
On Sunday, despite battling a bout of viral fever, Jeev, accompanied by wife Kudrat, arrived at Manesar (from Chandigarh) for a promotional event for his sponsor Callaway and spoke to The Hindu. “Things are looking very positive. My injury should get better in two months.
“I’ve gone back to the way I was hitting the ball. I am swinging the club and not just putting the ball in play. Hopefully, things will be good by the end of the year.”
Jeev owes this optimism to the way he recovered following new medication.
“I am taking a new anti-inflammatory, a natural German medication, for four weeks now. A lot of doctors have been suggesting surgery but I am against surgery because the human body, especially a sportsman’s body, can’t be the same after surgery. I’ll take this medication for another month. Once the shoulder-pain is subsided, I can practise more.”
Recalling how it all started, Jeev said, “When I first felt the pain, in 2012, I got a steroid shot injected into that finger. And when I was trying to protect my index finger, I jammed my shoulder. It was June last year when the doctors told me there was a tear in the shoulder. I kept playing and it became worse and worse. I could barely get the club above my shoulder. So I made changes in my swing to keep the ball in play. I got into bad habits. But now I have come out of those bad habits and things are heading in the right direction.”
Jeev admitted he did not listen to his body when he should have.
“I’ll be very honest. I’ve always listened to my heart and mind but not body. For a professional athlete, I think, the mind takes over and we start pushing ourselves to the limit. That’s when you realise that everything breaks down. And that’s what has happened (to me). You live and learn.”
Jeev, who played up to 42 weeks each year in his younger days, said, “Considering my age (42) and the injuries that I’ve had, I should limit my events to about 27 per year. But this year, I plan to play about 34 in all.
Before signing off Jeev reiterated his goal.
“I still feel I have a few years left. I’ve always felt that I have to win a Major championship and I feel I still have it in me to win it. For that I have to remain injury-free and hopefully, things will fall in place.”
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