Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
India opener Lokesh Rahul is set to miss the Champions Trophy in England in June as he is unlikely to recover in time after undergoing shoulder surgery.
Rahul injured his left shoulder in the first Test against Australia in February, but proceeded to play through the pain for the rest of the four-Test series.
Despite his injury, Rahul scored 393 runs, which included six half-centuries in seven innings, at an average of 65.50.
Following the series, Rahul travelled to England to undergo surgery.
“I have to wait and see but the chances are slim,” he told the Times of India. “I had torn my labrum [a ring of fibrocartilage attached to the shoulder socket]. I couldn’t get into a few positions because my shoulder kept dislocating. That’s why I couldn’t play a lot of shots and had to restrict myself. I played with a lot of medication and taping.
“The doctor said it will take 2-3 months. Each body is different, so you don’t know how it recovers. It is totally up to me and how I well I take care of myself in the rehab phase. For now, it is 2-3 weeks of relaxing and after that, I will start physiotherapy. My rehab will start from there.”
Rahul confirmed that the injury occurred when he smashed a six off the bowling of Australia spinner Steve O’Keefe in Pune.
“It is a sports injury but the doctor was surprised it happened because of batting,” he said. “It mostly happens in contact sports where people run into you.
“The physio [Patrick Farhart] was surprised because there was no such major incident. It was that moment in Pune when I played a shot – not the one I got out to, but the one that went for six. That’s when I knew that my shoulder dislocated and went back in. I got out playing the same shot, so by then it was completely damaged. I couldn’t do anything after that.”
Rahul has established himself as a cricketer to watch out for, but he admitted that it is frustrating that his career has been plagued with injuries.
“It is frustrating for a young man who is new to international cricket – it’s been two-and-a-half years now,” Rahul said. “I’ve already been injured twice or thrice. It makes me think about what I am doing wrong.
“I can’t see any reason why I keep getting injured because I am disciplined with my fitness and my diet and I look after my body. Now is the time to see what I can change in training. To be injury-free is wishful thinking for a sportsman. To be fit and minimize injuries will be my goal once I get back.”