In a major setback for India's preparations for the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar captain Baichung Bhutia left the team camp in Portugal yesterday to fly back to India due to Thyroiditis being diagnosed on him. And Team India could be without its captain in the next three/four months with insiders saying that Baichung is only set to rejoin the team in November.
While in Portugal Baichung did not been train for the last five days. He lost up to five kilos of weight and has been feeling weak which called for a medical assessment. A Thyroid Profile was done on him in Portugal which revealed that he is suffering from Thyroiditis with Hyperthyroidism. Team doctor Sachin Yadav has advised him to take complete rest and get medical treatment, which would help him recover fully but it will take time for his Thyroid profile to become normal again.
For Baichung this isn't the first time that a Thyroid related illness has been diagnosed on him. A few years ago he had to spend some time in hospital to get healthy and match fit again.
For Team India losing Baichung Bhutia will be a heavy burden. He is not only the captain and leader of the team, Baichung is a living hero amongst his team mates for all that he has been able to achieve. Coach Bob Houghton will have to see who will be captain in Baichung's absence during the Portugal tour, while for the team it means the younger strikers will have to prove themselves with Baichung out for the moment and Sunil Chhetri having club commitments for his MLS side Kansas City Wizards.
All the best to Bhai! We need you in Qatar...