Farukh Choudhary rises from the ashes ahead of Hero Super Cup semis

KOZHIKODE: It has been almost two years since Farukh Choudhary suffered a serious injury to his knee, one that at the time, seemed as though it could affect his career as a footballer. Fast forward to 2023, the 26-year-old is back on the field once again, and even scored in his side Jamshedpur FC’s 3-2 win over Gokulam Kerala FC in the Hero Super Cup.

The forward, who hails from Mumbai, quickly took the opportunity to dedicate his goal to National Team physio Dr Gigy George, who helped him through his recovery process.

“Gigy sir has supported me in the most difficult time of my life and I’ll always be grateful for that,” said Farukh. “Apart from being the best physio, he’s a great human being who genuinely cares for others and that’s what I respect the most about him. He has been the strongest pillar of support during my difficult time. My family and close friends have also been there to support me throughout this challenging time.”

Farukh took the decision to have his knee operated on, on his 25th birthday in 2021, and has been on a long, winding path to recovery.

“The whole recovery process was a new experience for me because I have never faced a serious injury in my playing career until this one.

10 days after my surgery I moved to Kerala to do my recovery under the guidance of Gigy Sir who’s the best in this field,” he said. “I stayed there for 4-5 months training with him and that’s what helped me a lot because the early stages after the surgery are the most important ones.

“It wasn’t easy at all. In the beginning, all I used to think was to somehow go back in time and change everything. But once I started progressing in my rehab, I started enjoying the process and I couldn’t wait to get back on the field,” said Farukh.

It took almost half a year for Farukh to recover and get back to training on the field again, and a brief call-up to the National Team camp in Bellary before the AFC Asian Cup Qualifiers last year, albeit for a check-up on his progress, proved to be a big morale booster for the forward.

Farukh’s big old scar healed eventually and he was able to return to regular action in the 2022-23 Hero Indian Super League season, when he clocked 16 appearances for Jamshedpur FC.

While the side from the Steel City has not had the best of league campaigns, finishing 10th, they have made it to the semi-finals of the Hero Super Cup in Kerala, where they are set to face Bengaluru FC on Friday, April 21, 2022 at the EMS Corporation Stadium at 7 pm IST.

Playing the semi-finals and the possibility of going all the way is a special prospect for Farukh, but his recent hard times have also taught him some new lessons. “This whole process has taught me how to be more patient, consistent, disciplined and strong will power to not give up, no matter what life throws at you,” he said.

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