New Delhi, 12 October 2020: In early August, when Indian Men's Hockey Team defender Surender Kumar was among the six players who had tested Positive for the Covid-19 virus, his first thoughts were, "Why me? and how did I get it?" 

Surender feels the entire period was challenging mentally. "I would often tell myself that so many people around the globe have battled this virus including top sports people and have come out of it. It was a difficult phase but I am really grateful for the kind of support system we had from Hockey India and SAI who made every effort to get us the best treatment. The Team Coaching Staff ensured we were in a good space mentally for that entire period of 2-3 weeks where we were in the hospital followed by mandatory isolation," stated the Defender from Karnal Haryana who was part of the Indian Team for Rio Olympics in 2016. 

Having returned to the pitch in mid-September and join the rest of the team, Surender's main aim is to gain full-fitness. "I am happy to be back to regular schedule with the rest of the Core Group. Initially, Chief Coach would emphasis on taking it slow and not exerting too much even though we would feel no discomfort in pushing ourselves. It's now been over 3 weeks since I have returned to training. I am feeling good and aiming to hit top fitness levels," he added. 

Unlike his other compatriots who had tested positive and recovered, Surender had developed venous thrombosis, a condition in which there are blood clots. It is one of the many complications related to Covid-19 recovery phase. "Again, I am grateful to Hockey India and SAI for ensuring my recovery is closely monitored. I get my routine check-ups done regularly. We also have a doctor on campus who I can consult in case of any discomfort. I feel we are just fortunate to have this kind of support. My focus now is on hockey," Surender said. 

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