Sandesh Jhinghan is not willing to rush his comeback after surgery on his knee, saying he would miss the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL) season but is hopeful of returning soon.

Jhinghan also said he is writing a book during his off time from the game. He got injured during a friendly against NorthEast United FC ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh and has been ruled out for at least six months.

“If I had a choice, it would have been tomorrow itself. But I know it’s better to come back stronger than sooner. The process of recovering from an ACL injury is slow, and I need to be careful and not rush,” Jhinghan told www.the-aiff.com.

“Going by the book, a player usually takes 6-9 months to come back. But at the same time there have been cases where a player has come back in four and a half months. Unfortunately, I will miss the entire season of the ongoing Indian Super League. But there’s always a next time,” said India’s premier centre back.

“I am working on writing my first book. It’s been in my mind for quite some time. This time I have promised myself that I need to finish it off this year. It will be a collection of short stories. I have finished a couple of them and some more remain. I have also been writing poems for long, but they won’t be a part of this book,” said Jhinghan.

Jhinghan expressed that mental strength is not tested during these injuries to footballers as he has seen people battle for their life, which he feels is the real struggle.

“I have been to hospitals and have seen people fighting for their lives. To me, that’s mental toughness. I feel I am extremely lucky where I am going through a phase where everything is being taken care of. I have a job with a club. I am lucky. Not all are.

“You look around and you will witness so many unfortunate kids lying paralysed. They are fighting. I salute their mental strength. You see people fighting for their lives in hospitals you understand how lucky we are.

“Those are the people who are mentally stronger. There are people living on the roads, not sure whether they will ever get to eat their next meal. Yet they go on, and earn. That’s mental strength.

“I am not sympathising with them at all. But that’s what real fight in life is all about. There are people who have been infected with deadly diseases, yet their will to survive for their families keeps them going. In sports, you are never tested to such limits.”