It was a tough period in my career: Kerala Blasters FC’s Rahul KP on three-month injury break

Out of the Indian youngsters in the transition process, Rahul KP promised to peak in the Hero ISL 2021-22. However, the road might not turn out as expected, especially for a footballer. Much to the delight of the passionate Kerala Blasters FC fans, the local lad began with a bang! The winger engineered the perfect move to aid compatriot Sahal Abdul Samad net a remarkable goal and reduce the deficit in the 24th minute of the season opener against ATK Mohun Bagan.

Moments later, a groin injury deterred him from playing any part further in the game and curtailed his campaign before it began. Experiencing ecstasy and agony, separated by eight minutes, can have a drastic impact on a player. However, fighters don’t give up!

Backed by huge fanfare, coupled with the emotional connect always kept Rahul KP in the action, even though witnessing it from the other end of the sidelines seldom evoked anger.

“To be honest, it was a tough period in my career, I almost missed most of the games because in India you see, there are like 20 games (in a season). And if I'm not able to play 20 games, that's like really not up to the mark and we know that the only way to get more experience is to play more games,” said Rahul KP, during the pre-match press conference, ahead of Kerala Blasters FC’s game against Mumbai City FC.

With the advanced curing methods and technology, recovery has been bearable and time efficient in recent times. Having gone through rigorous rehabilitation, the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup star graced the green after more than a three-month hiatus in their match against Hyderabad FC. And guess what, he provided another assist to mark his comeback.

Back on his feet after turmoil, Rahul KP has kept himself grounded and often reminisces about the hands of support that boosted him to stage such a notable revival.

“I think for sure as a local player, as a part of a team, it's really important for us to qualify (for the semi-finals), but also coming back from injury it is really difficult. I think that I've been doing whatever is in my control. You know, injury is not in my control, that happens.”

“But, after that, what I can do is come back and I was focused on it and really thankful to everyone in the club, coaching staff, the physio team and the club itself, because they really took care of me,” added the Kerala Blasters FC star.

“They (the club) were really showing interest in me. I also felt like they still wanted me back.”

Spreading awareness amongst folk not to fall in the same puddle is not only a wonderful gesture, but also shows the character which the footballer is built of. Even at an unripe age, Rahul KP is instilled with these qualities, which just complements his heroics with the ball.

“So, this is also a request to all the other players who are watching this, to individually take care of their body, because you don't want to miss any games or training sessions, and you only have 20 games in a season, or a few more if you can qualify (for semi-finals). So, it is always a tough time for footballers (during injuries) for sure and it was also really frustrating for me,” stated the player.

With a couple of games left and Kerala Blasters FC on the brink of qualifying for the semi-finals after quite a few seasons, Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic would be more than satisfied to use Rahul KP as a trump card in vital situations. His ward, on the other hand, is ever-determined to impart his duties when needed.

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