Hockey World Cup: Walmiki replaces injured Thimmaiah

The Hague: Indian hockey team stand-by Yuvraj Walmiki will replace forward Nikkin Thimmaiah in the World Cup after the latter sustained an injury during a training session here Monday.

Nikkin sustained a hamstring pull on the right side after which he was immediately taken to hospital. Doctors diagnosed a tear in his hamstring muscle and advised him complete bed rest of four weeks.

This is the second injury blow for India in two days. Earlier, forward Lalit Upadhyay replaced injured Ramandeep Singh Monday for the May 31 to June 15 tournament. Walmiki will leave for The Hague Tuesday.

“It’s a big loss for the team as we will miss both Ramandeep and Nikkin during the World Cup. I will give by best and live up to the expectations of the coach and team,” said Walmiki.

“I was part of the Indian team that went on the Europe tour last month. Hence getting used to the weather and playing conditions should not be a big challenge for me. I am excited for having received a call from the team and looking forward to take on the challenge ahead.”

Head coach Terry Walsh said the injuries have been two big blows for the team.

“It’s a double blow to us. Nikkin is a key player and missing out on him will be a big setback. With both Ramandeep and Nikkin missing out on the big platform, I am sure both Yuvraj and Lalit will take this as a big opportunity to prove their game,” Walsh said.

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