Wednesday, July 10

Sabitra Bhandari to return back in action in National Women’s League

By a Staff Reporter

Kathmandu – National women’s football team’s forward Sabitra Bhandari is all set to return back to action after 13 months of injury layoff. She had to undergo a knee operation after sustaining an injury during the National Women’s League last year.

Bhandari stayed in a rehab in the middle east after her knee surgery and returned back home about a month and a half ago. She has been regularly attending training at her club – APF – ever since her return from the rehab.

She is all set to return back to action in the National Women’s League which will kick off in Chitwan from Thursday. APF will face Tribhuvan Army Club in the inaugural match.

APF coach Janak Singh said that Bhandari is certain to return back in action.

“Sabitra will play tomorrow’s match. We will decide later about whether to keep her in the starting lineup or to send her as substitute,” said Singh, adding, “But it is certain that she will play.”

According to Singh, Bhandari’s fitness training has suggested she is fully fit to play 90 minutes. However, the coach said that her playing time will be gradually increased as per the suggestions of physiotherapists in Qatar where she stayed in rehab.

Bhandari had returned back to Nepal from Qatar on February 8 after seven months in rehab. She had undergone knee surgery in Qatar on July 15. She was injured during the league on February 15, 2021. It was the first major injury she sustained in her eight years of stellar career.  She holds the record of scoring 38 goals for the national team – a feat which no other player has ever achieved in Nepal. She is not just a star player in Nepal but also one of the best forwards in South Asia.

She has won league titles from two different teams in India’s I League. She was declared the Best Player of the Decade during the Pulsar Sports Awards organized by Nepal Sports Journalists Forum on Tuesday.

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