Awadhe Warriors' star attraction Sania Nehwal was ruled out of the third Premier Badminton League opener against Chennai Smashers as she had not fully recovered from an ankle niggle on the right leg.
Awadhe coach Anup Sridhar, however, was hopeful Saina will turn out at the Siri Fort Sports Complex in New Delhi for their second match against North East Warriors on December 30.
Sridhar, who along with Siyadath Ullah are part of the Awadhe coaching setup, said in a statement: "Saina is recovering from a small ankle issue which she had developed few weeks back. She is recovering well and we are expecting her to be fully fit for the next match."
Saina's absence on the inaugural day's match of the PBL meant her high-voltage clash with arch-rival and Chennai Smashers' P V Sindhu could not take place. But their meeting cannot be ruled out completely as both teams can still face off in the semi-final or final.
Sindhu will be facing Sai Uttejitha Rao of Awadhe Warriors in the last match of the tie which also happens to be a trump match for the Chennai Smashers team.