Ipoh, Malaysia: Indian hockey team were dealt a severe blow ahead of their opening Asia Cup group league encounter against minnows Oman after skipper Sardar Singh was declared unfit as he is recovering from viral fever.
Sardar, who was hospitalised for running temperature along with throat infection, was discharged yesterday and even trained with the other members of the team today but India's interim coach Roelant Oltmans is in no mood to take any risk ahead of crucial upcoming encounters.
"Sardar is well now. He was discharged yesterday, but he won't play (against Oman) tomorrow. His fitness is not of the required level. If I let him play tomorrow, he may fall sick again," Oltmans, who is also the High Performance Director of Hockey India, told PTI after the team's practice session at the Sultan Azlan Shah Stadium on Friday.