Baljit Singh asked to join national hockey camp

New Delhi: Two years after he suffered a career-threatening eye injury in a freak incident, goalkeeper Baljit Singh has been asked to join the national hockey camp starting in Bangalore from July 1.

Baljit has got a letter from Hockey India to join the national camp to select players for international tournaments, including the Champions Trophy here in December.

"I am very happy to have been called for the camp. I have completely recovered from the eye injury. The couple of tournaments I have played in the domestic circuit have given my enough confidence. I hope I get the chance to do well for the country and for myself," said Baljit.

Asked about the current impasse between Hockey India and Indian Hockey Federation over the merger issue, Baljit said it would be better for the players also if the two federations form a unified body.

"For a player, it does not matter under whose banner he is playing, HI or IHF. For us, we want to play as many international matches as possible," he said.

"In a way, it will be good if HI and IHF are merged. In that case players will not have to face pressure," he said.

In a severe blow to his career, Baljit had suffered a serious injury to his right eye during a training session at a national camp in Pune in 2009.

He was operated upon at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences here for what in medical terms is described as Corneoscloral Perforation of the eye.

He was then referred for treatment at a reputed hospital in United States where he had further surgery. The government had borne the initial medical expenses, including that of his treatment in the US.

Baljit was struck in the eye during golf ball practice session with goalkeeping coach Romeo James to improve his reflexes. According to the doctors, the rupture had damaged the retina, cornea and lens of his eye because of the direct trauma suffered due to that incident.


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