New Delhi: Orthopedic surgeon Kannan Pugazendhi, on whom rest Bhaichung Bhutia`s slim hopes of participating in next month`s Asian Cup football tournament, is set to leave for Dubai tonight to treat the injured India skipper.
In what seemed like a last-ditch effort to attain match fitness before the continental showpiece, Bhutia had requested his Chennai-based doctor, Pugazendhi, to fly to Dubai where the Indian football team has been training since the first week of November.
"I will be leaving tonight but will come back to India before the tournament," Pugazendhi told reporters.
Bhutia, along with left back Samir Naik, had earlier flown to Chennai to get a calf muscle injury on his right leg treated by Pugazendhi, who had worked with the Indian football team in the past.
The India skipper, who was instrumental in helping India qualify for the continent`s biggest football tournament after a gap of 24 years, said he was totally fit on his return to Dubai from Chennai but soon developed pain, which didn`t allow him to train with the team.
The doctor, however, said that there was no muscle tear when Bhutia landed in Chennai on December 8.
"When he came to Chennai there was no muscle tear, so I thought he would be OK and all right for the tournament. But now that he has developed complications, I will go and find out what the problems are and treat him accordingly," Pugazendhi said.
Bhutia hasn`t played a match since suffering an injury while playing in a friendly international here against Namibia on September 15.
Bhutia, who has been having problems while training, is worried as far his participation in the tournament is concerned.
"It`ll be disappointing to miss out on the Asian Cup finals. I don`t think I will ever get a chance to play a tournament bigger than this," the 34-year-old said.