Swimmer Sajan Prakash to undergo two-week treatment for long-standing neck issue

New Delhi, Aug 16 (PTI) Ace Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash will take some time off from the swimming pool to undergo a two-week Ayurvedic treatment in Kerala for a long-standing neck issue.

Prakash, the first-ever Indian swimmer to breach the ‘A’ standard time for the Olympics, had suffered a slipped disc in 2019 which has been radiating pain towards his left hand while swimming.

“I’m going to get an Ayurvedic treatment. It’s a two-week plan. It involves massage etc, it’s like totally resetting your body,” Prakash, who is with the Indian Olympic contingent here, told PTI.

“When I start swimming again after this treatment it will be like starting again from the basics, slowly slowly building up. It’s a good investment for the future,” he added.

The 27-year-old butterfly specialist had completed a four-month rehabilitation program for his slipped disc before the COVID-19 lockdown was imposed globally last year.

Resuming training after staying away from the pool for eight-nine months, Prakash had to start from scratch as he struggled to execute even a single stroke of butterfly, often considered the most difficult swimming style, which requires not only good technique but also strong muscle.

He swam freestyle and backstroke before venturing back into butterfly and made a remarkable comeback that saw him make the ‘A’ cut for the Tokyo Games, a day before the qualification period ended, in a meet in Italy in the last week of June.

Although, the Kerala swimmer has consistently improved his performance in the past one year, he is still not 100 per cent fit and feels pain on his left side while swimming.

“I have the slip disk on my neck C4 C5 C6 which triggered to the left shoulder, where I feel weakness. I can’t really pull with my left hand properly,” Prakash said.

“When I swim butterfly, when I try to swim really fast I go towards the left side because there is less power in my hand.

“I tried to fix my shoulder as much as possible with treatments but still I have not had full power on my left hand,” he added.

Prakash, who trains in Dubai with coach Pradeep Kumar, has shortlisted two places in Kerala for the treatment.

He had competed in two events at the Tokyo Games — the men’s 200m and 100m butterfly — but was unable to advance to the semifinals of either of the two.

In the 200m butterfly, his pet event, Prakash finished 24th among 38 swimmers. PTI