Tests, monitoring, reduction in load for hockey players who have recovered

Achievers News Bureau, August 27/20:- For the next six-to-eight weeks, the heart and lung conditions of the Indian hockey players, who have recovered from Covid-19 disease, will be closely monitored. A raft of tests – from electrocardiograms to pulmonary function tests – will be carried out at regular intervals and their workload could see a sharp reduction in the coming months.

This cautious approach has been necessitated because of very little material available on how much impact can the novel coronavirus have on an elite athlete and concerns raised by medical experts that some of the effects could be ‘career-ending.’ In milder cases of Covid-19, doctors say they have noticed cases of ‘weight loss, weakness, nutritional problems and easy fatigability’, all of which could affect an athlete.

Five of the six players, including captain Manpreet Singh, who had tested positive for the virus upon returning for the training camp at the National Centre of Excellence in Bengaluru, completed their post-recovery isolation period on Wednesday. But they are yet to merge with the rest of the players, who have begun ‘sporting activities’ – a bureaucratic term used for light, socially-distanced training during the pandemic.

“Initially, their workload will be different (than rest of the players),” chief coach Graham Reid says. “We have been reading up on how the players elsewhere are returning after recovering from the infection. But the more you read, the more you discover that it is still very early days. They are starting to get a body of data for normal people but not elite athletes.”

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