Gurgaon, Apr 11: India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh did not put a time frame to return to the cricket field but hoped to be on the pitch in a "couple of month" as he addressed the media for the first time since returning home from US after treatment for cancer.
"It was hard to believe that I had this illness," started off Yuvraj Singh as he interacted with the media at his cricket academy, Yuvraj Singh Centre of Excellence, on Wednesday afternoon. Yuvraj was accompanied by his doctor Dr Nitesh Rohatgi.
"Cancer is out of my body. In few months I would be in physical condition to play cricket I have always been happy despite what happened to me. At the moment I am trying to live life like a normal person."
The India all-rounder said it was the US cycling legend Lance Armstrong who inspired him to battle with cancer. He said he kept motivating himself in the battle against cancer.
Here are the excerpts from that interaction
On his return: "Hopefully I will be back on the field in a couple of months."
"It's nice to be in front of the Indian media after a long time," he said.
"To get my life back is something very special," he added.
"My mother and friends were with me during the chemotherapy. Cyclist and cancer survivor Armstrong inspired me. My mother was my strength. My mother did not shed a tear. She has been stronger than me."
"I was always happy and cheerful but inside I always thought there is a serious issue and I hoped there would be an outcome soon. I just had to come out of it."
"It was hard to believe that I have this illness. It was hard to believe a person like me can go through this because I am an athlete,” he says. At the moment I am very happy with the way I am living my life. I am being very positive as I always have been."
"When the doctors said 'you can go back home' it was the happiest day of my life."
"Chemotherapy leads to hair loss, body ache, depression. I knew about it and I felt if I have to recover then I will have to go through it. It's amazing how people keep themselves positive and fight with the disease for years."
"Everything that happens in life happens to give you a lesson. I don't know what I have learnt as of now. But I had more bad days than good days when I was in US. But I was inspired by people in the US who had cancer but they were pretty chilled out. They did not make a fuss about the disease."
On best World Cup knock: "My knock that helped India beat Australia in the World Cup is a special one because I always dreamt of beating Australia in the World Cup."
On Anil Kumble's visit: "I was surprised to see Anil Kumble come all the way from India to the United States to see me."
On Virat Kohli: Virat Kohli is a special kid. He's very talented. I have learnt a lot from him. His work ethics are great ever since he's made it to the team. But he needs to be held back.
On Sachin Tendulkar's 100th international ton: Disappointed that I missed Sachin's 100th hundred. I have always been in touch with Sachin Tendulkar. He spoke positively to me.
"I have not changed as a person. I know I am a good person at heart but I am not a 20-year old anymore and have to work hard on my fitness, but I will be back. I will work hard to be at the top again.
"Money, popularity everything is important but I understand that your parents and being happy is the most important thing.
"Thankful to God": "I want to stay positive. I have plans to help cancer survivors in the future."
"I am thankful to God that I have got my life back and I am thankful to the people of nation. Such phases are part and parcel of everyone's life but I am thankful to everybody."
"Awareness for disease is very important. I wanted to portray that 'don't be scared if you have the disease. Every one should get themselves checked regularly."
"My mother has been stronger than me. I broke down some time but she remained solid."
"All my fans want me to comeback but I am sure they understand that it will not be easy. It was scary."
"I will definitely be back playing for India. Want to be a part of the team again. I don't know what I will do. As a sportsman all I can say that I will go hard. I want to wear that India logo on my head. While watching match, I felt frustration. I tried gyming one or two time but that couldn't be continued."
On IPL: "I miss playing the IPL. It is a great tournament. I wish Pune team all the best."
"Want to thank family, friends, BCCI, media, sponsors, fans. Thank You," he concluded.
Yuvraj returned home on Monday morning in New Delhi after undergoing chemotherapy for a rare germ cell cancer between his lungs in the US.
Doctor: "He had many side effects. After some weeks he will start exercising. It depends on his mental and physical strength. Once he understood what the right way was after the diagnosis in mid-January, it went very quickly from there."
"Because of Yuvraj people will have this belief that cancer is detectable and curable."