Doctor Naik set to join Indian team before Korea tie

Ipoh (Malaysia): The Indian hockey team`s wait for a specialist doctor has finally come to an end as B K Nayak is all set to join the squad ahead of the side`s second Asia Cup Pool `B` match against Korea on August 26.

Nayak, who has been a regular member of the hockey support staff since 2009, did not travel with the team to Ipoh after his employer, Indian Army refused to release him for the August 24 to September 1 assignment.

To make matters worse, just before the start of the tournament, India captain captain Sardar Singh was forced to be hospitalised here due to high fever and throat infection.

With no doctor with the side, Sardar`s treatment was delayed initially as the team management did not want to prescribe him medicines without consulting a specialist.

But now with Naik expected to join the squad on Sunday, the team management can heave a sigh of relief.

"We have come to know that Dr Naik has been released. He is expected to join the team on Sunday. He will miss our first game against Oman tomorrow but for sure he will be there before Korea game," India`s interim coach Roelant Oltmans said here.

"We somehow managed Sardar`s illness but it is always good to have a doctor with the team as he knows the medical history of the players very well," he said.

When contacted Dr Naik, he said that although he is yet to get the green signal from the Army but things are moving in the positive direction.

He said if everything goes as per plan, he will reach Ipoh by Sunday evening.

"Talks are on between Hockey India and the Army and things are looking bright. My tickets are already booked for Sunday morning flight and I hope to be there by Sunday evening," Naik said from Dehradun, where he is posted in the Indian Military Academy.


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