Sunil has become the latest casualty after injuries forced strikers Akashdeep Singh, Danish Mujtaba and Gurwinder Singh Chandi also to sit out of the all-important tournament.
Sunil, a livewire on the turf and a certain pick for the Asia Cup, suffered a ligament tear on his left elbow last Friday during the preparatory camp at the SAI centre in Bangalore and has been advised rest for six weeks.
"I suffered the injury during Friday's training session. I slipped and collided with the goalkeeper and tore the ligament of my left elbow. The doctor has advised me six weeks rest," Sunil said.
"It's very disappointing that I will miss such an important tournament like the Asia Cup. But there are some things which are out of our hands. I will pray that we come out winners in the Asia Cup, which will secure our ticket to next year's World Cup. There is no reason why we can't win the tournament. The boys are really working hard," he added.
After having failed to secure a direct berth in the FIH World Cup in Hague, The Netherlands from the FIH World League Round 3 in Rotterdam, India will now have to win the Asia Cup, to be held in Ipoh, Malaysia to qualify for next year's mega-event.
But injury concerns seemed to be hounding the team even before departing for the tournament.


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