Cristina Neagu, best female handball player of the world in 2010, is on the verge of returning after a 19-month break caused by a shoulder injury . “We have news according to which Cristina is fit to play. She called Jakob Vestergaard from the U.S. and told him that the doctor gave her his green light so she can start playing. We will have more details when she returns home,” CS Oltchim President Petre Berbecaru.
Neagu could be included on Oltchim’s extended line-up this Sunday in its championship game against CSM Bucharest. Cristina and her teammates trained side-by-side recently so that her only problem at this moment is to train with the ball. The player was set to return from the United States, where she underwent shoulder surgery last year, on Thursday. Oltchim will debut in the Champions League on October 14, at home against Hypo Vienna. The group also includes Randers, the fourth team set to be decided at the end of this week.
After visiting clinics throughout Europe, Cristina Neagu went to the United States last year, being treated by the doctor that treated Maria Sharapova too. The surgery was a success but the recovery was difficult. “Many said that this cartilage will never recover, but it is happening. It was the first serious injury for me, but it’s enough. Physically there aren’t big changes, my weight is the same but I added muscle mass, which gives me confidence. I ran a lot, I built up strength, my morale is excellent,” Neagu stated a while ago. The club’s financial situation continues to be extremely difficult and its participation in the Champions League is in doubt after Oltchim plant, the team’s main sponsor, announced it can no longer support the club since it is undergoing privatisation. Bucharest Mayor Sorin Oprescu vowed to support the team this year with an amount of one million euros.