Former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra has reportedly been asked to prove his fitness by Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters if he remotely hopes to feature for his former team in ISL 2016. Chopra, 32, played for the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned side in the first season of the tournament in 2014.
According to Goal, the former England U20 international, who has shown a willingness to play for the India football team, is on the verge of putting pen to paper on a fresh contract with the Kerala side but only if he is fit enough to play.
Chopra, whose father is an Indian, played nine times for Kerala Blasters in the inaugural season of the Indian Super League, which saw Tendulkar's side reach the final of the competition. The striker, however, could not score any goal and was criticised for his performances.
He joined Scottish side Alloa Athletic in March 2015, but was released exactly one year later by the club as they were relegated to the Scottish second tier and Chopra's niggling ankle injury also persisted. He scored a total of two goals for the team out of 15 appearances.
"When I went there [India] the first time I don't think I fully understood what it meant to be there, and I don't think I gave it my best shot. I thought it would be easier than I expected and it wasn't like that," Chopra told Sky Sports earlier this year.
"I feel like I let myself and the club down as well and if I go back next time I'll know what to expect and I will definitely perform to the best of my ability," Chopra added. "I'm confident I can recover and come back in much better shape because when I went to India for the first edition of the ISL.
"I injured the same ankle and the surgeon told me it hasn't been the same since. But he has now cleared everything up in my ankle and says I will be able to move around a lot better on a football pitch which is a good thing. I am going to come back firing."
Among the foreign players, Kerala Blasters have only announced retaining Antonio German and Josu ahead of ISL 2016.