She's been preparing set to return to the badminton courts after a heartbreaking exit from the Rio Olympics, but Saina Nehwal says that she's not entirely sure about making it back.

"It is okay, many people will think my career will end and I won't come back. I also think somewhere deep in my heart that maybe it is the end of my career, so let's see how it is. Maybe, you never know," she said in an interview to ESPN.in.

But it doesn't mean that the Olympian, who's just started training after months of being off courts due to injury, is throwing in the towel just yet.

File photo of Saina Nehwal | Source: Reuters

She said that she just wanted to take care of herself for now and not focus of winning and losing the upcoming matches and she's happy if people think she's finished because it will mean less attention on her.

"I am going to think about the next one year, it is year by year now, I am not going to set a target for the next 5-6 years now. My mind may change in the next one, two or three years, so for me, it is just about how to take care of my body and be in good shape because these injuries are quite painful. Even if I win a tournament, the happiness is not so much because of the amount of pain the injury gives," she told the website.

Saina, the former world number one, failed to progress to the knock-out stage in Rio Olympics in a shock early exit from the competition and returned to India with unbearable pain in right knee. She underwent surgery at a Mumbai hospital for a broken bone below kneecap.

However, soon after the interview was published, the badminton star received messages of support on Twitter and she thanked people for them: