The 26 year-old is not rushing for recovery and has vowed to come back stronger.

Sandesh Jhingan has been a massive miss for both club and country after having suffered a horrible ACL injury in a practice game against NorthEast United leading up to India’s FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh last month.

It was an unfortunate injury which rules him out for perhaps the rest of the year (and even more). This means the resilient centre-back must watch his sides do battle from the sidelines for quite a while. But already having suffered some gruesome injury in his career, like the knee injury which sidelined him for three months when playing at U-19 level, he’s assured that he’ll return stronger than ever.

Speaking to the Times of India about his feelings on getting injured back and then and thoughts on the future, he said, “I kept crying. I was scared and didn’t know what would happen in my life. I almost went into depression, but as I look back, I’m glad it happened to me at that age.”

“What people thought was the worst, was the best time for me as I learned many things about life and football. I will return much stronger than before,” the Kerala Blasters defender exclaimed.

Of course, recovery from an ACL tear isn’t the easiest thing either. Many players have been ruled out of action for near about six months to one full year because of the complications it brings. But Jhingan is cutting an optimistic figure saying he can recover earlier than expected.

He explained, “ACL is very complicated. I don’t have a complete tear, it’s partial. Initially, we were confused whether we should go for surgery or not. I spoke to a lot of doctors and in my age (26), it’s advisable to do a surgery.”

“Some take six months, some take nine, others even take one or two years. It’s how hard you work (during rehabilitation). Some come back in four or five months too,” quipped the centre-back.

Sandesh Jhingan is all set to undergo surgery next week in Mumbai, but he’s clear that he doesn’t want to rush back into action and risk suffering another injury in the future. He knows the repercussions these injuries bring and stated how heartbroken he was upon suffering it. But he also believes he’ll come back soon.

He said, “This is a very big blow for me. Football is not only my job, it’s a passion. When I picked up this (tear), I knew something had gone wrong, but I was still optimistic. But what broke my heart was the media suggesting I would be out for nine months, something that my parents read the next morning.”

The 26-year-old finished with a strong statement, “I believe whatever happens, happens for good. I am a firm believer in that. I am very passionate and motivated to get back on the field. I am working everyday. I will be back soon and start serving my club and country again.”