Rishabh Pant likely to be sidelined for at least six months | Cricket

Five days after he was operated for ligament tear in his right knee, India wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant was “mobilised” (helping movement of the affected joint) on Tuesday evening at Mumbai’s Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital.

According to BCCI officials aware of the treatment, Pant will stay in the hospital for at least a week while the nature of the injuries could keep him out of action for at least six months. “With the mobilisation, the doctors are beginning his rehabilitation process. He will start walking with a walker and then independently. He will need an extensive rehabilitation programme,” the official said.

Pant’s right knee took a major impact in the accident near Roorkee on December 30 — the car he was driving flipped over and he was rescued as the vehicle caught fire – that led to two major ligament tears – anterior cruciate (ACL) and medial collateral ( MCL).

“As a wicketkeeper, both the ligament tears are of concern. The ACL crosses in the middle of the knee and connects the thigh bone to the shinbone. It helps stabilize the knee joint. Both the tears were the result of a massive impact injury. He will take time to recover and it will depend on his ability to bear pain and time taken for complete mobility,” he said.

Pant was initially treated at a hospital in Roorkee and then shifted to Max Hospital in Dehradun. He was flown to Mumbai in an air ambulance. He is being treated under the direct supervision of renowed BCCI- empaneled sports orthopaedic Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala, who operated on him on Friday.

Further course of treatment and rehabilitation will be advised by Dr Pardiwala – he also heads the center for sports medicine and is director-arthroscopy and shoulder services at KDAH – and followed by BCCI’s sports science and medicine team.

“Won’t be able to comment anything on Pant’s case as nothing is revealed so far (to us),” said Vaibhav Daga, head-sports science and rehabilitation, consultant sports medicine at the hospital.

However, asked to explain the general rehabilitation procedure they follow for ACL and MCL patients, Daga said: “From the recent literature, usually if it’s an ACL it will take between 6 to 9 months, (that) is what we look at for their return to sport. If it is an MCL it will take between 3 to 4 months, depending on the severity also and the procedure of surgery as it will differ from surgeon to surgeon, as they know best about the operated knee.

Explaining the stage-wise principles of rehabilitation or ACL and MCL procedures, the former Delhi IPL team and BCCI physio said: “Once the surgery is done, first strength and range of motion is important, then running, agility, jumping, power and ultimately return to sport, as per the basic principles of rehabilitation.

“Usually, after strengthening, running starts parallel, (usually) in the third stage. First is straight line running, no change of direction. After that sideways running, then it’s mixture of turning, which is for agility and speed. Later, we get into lateral change of direction. After that we get into jumping, then we get him to return to sport.”

In ACL injuries, the experts are diligent with rehab as the risk of re-injury is high.

“There are criteria to make a comeback to sport, including strength and agility testing. We have to go slow and steady in that also because particularly in ACL, re-injury rate is higher. We have to accordingly understand the complexity of the surgery and then build the rehab program around it.”

Sourav Ganguly, who will take over as Delhi Capitals director of cricket, told reporters that the team’s skipper won’t play in IPL 2023.


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