Saina Nehwal likely to rest for PBL 2017 tie against PV Sindhu's Chennai Smashers

The clash between Saina and Sindhu is one of the most anticipated matches of PBL 2.

Saina Nehwal
Saina became the first Indian shuttler to win an Olympic medal at the 2012 London Games Reuters

Badminton fans across the globe might not witness the much-anticipated group stage clash between India's Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu in the ongoing second season of Premier Badminton League as the former is mulling to rest for her team Awadhe Warriors' tie against the latter's Chennai Smashers on 11 January.

The Warriors, who are sitting pretty at the top of the table with 18 points from four ties, have sealed the semi-final spot already. Now their final clash against the Smashers on Wednesday in Bengaluru will have little effect on their progress. And Saina, who is recovering from a knee injury sustained during her 2016 Rio Olympic campaign, revealed she has to assess her fitness before thinking about the tie and also wants to be completely fit for the knockout matches of the league.

Notably, after losing to reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin in the Warriors' opening tie against Hyderabad Hunters, Saina has been looking unstoppable with comfortable wins against Delhi Acers' Nitchaon Jindapon and Mumbai Rockets' Sung Ji Hyun.

Riding on her good form, the world number 10 also came back from behind to clinch an impressive win against Bengaluru Blasters' Cheung Ngan Yi 9-11, 11-5, 11-5 on Monday. The 26-year-old, who is on a comeback trail after a long hiatus post the 2016 Rio Games, also wants to be fit and ready for her first international tournament of 2017 - Malaysia Masters, starting 17 January.

"I will see that [decision to rest for the tie against Smashers]. I need to really look at my knee as well. And I am also playing the Malaysia Masters next week," Saina said at a press conference after her win against Ngan Yi.

"So I will have to see how it is. Otherwise, semi-final and finals are big matches. I will have to be all out for that."

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