Bhubaneswar, Oct. 30: Dragflicker Varun Kumar was on Wednesday ruled out of India's FIH Olympic Qualifiers against Russia owing to a shoulder injury and replaced by defender Birender Lakra.
The Indian men's team will play Russia on November 1 and 2 at the Kalinga Hockey Stadium here.
Hockey India announced the replacement for Varun who sustained an injury on his shoulder and right bicep. "Varun Kumar got injured on Monday while training. He has been receiving treatment since then, but unfortunately, it has not shown enough signs of improvement," said chief coach Graham Reid.
He added, "We have decided to replace him with Birendra Lakra, a class defender with over 170 International caps. He is very experienced and knows well the conditions in Bhubaneswar."