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‘My tendon ripped apart from my quadricep’: KL Rahul opens about his injury, recovery and the niggle he picked up just before Asia Cup | Cricket News

‘My tendon ripped apart from my quadricep’: KL Rahul opens about his injury, recovery and the niggle he picked up just before Asia Cup | Cricket News

Returning from a long injury layoff, India’s wicketkeeper-batter KL Rahul opened about his thigh injury, the experience of undergoing the knife, the recovery, the fear of not able to keep again, his time at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru, and the niggle that delayed his comeback.

“I am feeling good, obviously good to be back with the team. It’s been quite some time that I’ve been away from the game but yeah, obviously happy to be back and yeah, everything worked out right on schedule. So, I’m happy that I could tick off all the boxes,” he told BCCI.Tv.

Rahul, captain of the Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) franchise in the Indian Premier League spoke in detail about his injury. Rahul got injured while saving a boundary, during the match against Royal Challengers Bangalorehe winced in pain and went down holding his leg. A stretcher was called for, but sent back as Rahul limped back, struggling clearly after getting up with huge effort.

“I got injured while trying to chase a ball and my tendon snapped. I had a full-fledged tear, my tendon ripped apart from my quadricep. So when it happened, I was obviously me, my family, the franchise, the team, everybody had their fingers crossed hoping that wasn’t a big tear, it was a small strain or I could get better in a couple of weeks,” he recalled.

“But once we did the scans in a couple of days we knew it was a full tear and it was quite clear that in terms of how I can get better from this injury was to go under the knife and do surgery,” he said.

The surgery

Rahul opens up about getting under the knife and how things panned out quickly and how get support from BCCI and his family members.

“We did speak to a couple of people, but we knew the minute we saw the scan, I mean, not me, I am not an expert, but the physios knew right away that surgery was the only way and that was the route that we had to take.

Medical staff examines Lucknow Super Giants’ captain KL Rahul after he got injured while fielding during the Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Lucknow Super Giants and Royal Challenger Bangalore in Lucknow, India. (PTI)

“It took us a few days to really decide where I need to go for surgery and who’s the best surgeon and like to thank BCCI and the physios and the doctors involved who made sure that I got the best treatment, made sure I went and saw the best surgeon. And it happened really quickly and was taken care of. And at that time, you really need support from people around you. And I got that at the right time,” he said.

The fear

Overcoming the mental barrier was the biggest challenge India wicketkeeper KL Rahul faced while rehabilitating after suffering a serious quadricep injury that laid him low for nearly four months.

“When you have surgery, the most important thing is for you to respect that you put your body through something very big, you’ve had a big repair, so you have to respect it and give your body enough time to recover. I think skills, for me at least, I know that I only needed a few weeks to get back in touch. I gave myself only a couple of weeks or three weeks time to really get back to playing cricket and getting that skill part of it sorted,” he said.

KL Rahul fitness KL Rahul performing keeping drills during India’s World Cup camp in Alur.(Screengrab/BCCI)

“The big thing was to feel confident in my own body and be pain-free, and be pain-free in movements that require a lot of intensity,” he added.

Rahul also spoke about the fear of keeping the wicket and the the mental barrier was crossed so he could concentrate on his cricketing skills and be ready for the rigours of the Asia Cup.

“I knew coming back I’ll have to keep wicket as well. And that was one of the big concerns for physios and for me, a big question mark in my head that the biggest challenge for coming back will be wicketkeeping because of the quadricep injury.

“When you’re wicketkeeping squatting down every ball, you require a lot of strength in your quads and you need it to support you. You need your body to support you and be pain-free.

KL Rahul shared photographs of himself walking around on crutches KL Rahul shared photographs of himself walking around on crutches just days after undergoing a surgery for an injury on his right thigh

“And a lot of times it’s also like you fight a big mental battle where you always thinking at the back of your head that, okay, I might feel pain. And when you’re in that mindset, you can’t really start focusing on skills.

“So the biggest challenge was to get rid of that fear and get rid of that pain aspect of things. And once you get through that, and that can only happen when you take things step by step.

“And obviously, like I said, I was in the hands of some really good physios and trainer at the NCA, so they really guided me and they knew when to push me, when to step back. Once that happened, then skill took place, I started sprinting and doing all of that,” he said.

The setback

The 31-year-old underwent rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru to get fit for the Asia Cup. But a “niggle” resulted in him missing the first two group matches of the tournament in Sri Lanka.

KL Rahul thigh injury recovery KL Rahul in action at the nets. (Screengrab: Instagram)

“Unfortunately, in the process of doing that [recovery]I developed a small niggle just before I could come back into the team, which was a big downer. I was actually ahead of schedule, and I felt like I could come back much before the Asia Cup and give myself a lot of time and prepare myself really well.

“But unfortunately, one more niggle set me back a couple of weeks. So yeah, I went through a bit of ups and downs within the recovery period as well. So that’s part of it. I was ready mentally, so I think that really helped,” he said.

Tiring process of rehabilitation

Rahul explained that this time around the process of rehabilitation was not boring, he actually liked the process from the very beginning to the end.

“It was quite strange this time. The other times that I’ve had surgery or injuries, I find myself really being bored, not knowing what to do or not having any motivation to wake up and go and do physio.

“It’s really boring, it’s really frustrating, and you get really lazy after a point of time. But this time it didn’t happen.

“I don’t know that it was, but I always found the motivation to go and do the boring stuff, this time this period of being away from the game, to just not really be desperate about anything.

“I just wanted to enjoy the process of even doing physio something as boring as physio, which is not as rewarding as playing a game of cricket, but I try to enjoy.I think that made it really easily,” he said.

The comeback

Reports from Colombo suggest that Rahul is striking the ball cleanly, just like he did before his thigh injury. He had looked comfortable against pace and spin.

Rahul Indian cricket team player KL Rahul during a training session ahead of Asia Cup 2023, in Bengaluru, Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2023. (PTI Photo/Shailendra Bhojak)

Rahul said the improvement was so bang on that it motivated him to hit the ground running as soon as he could.

“In a way, I feel like I’ve been away for four months, but it didn’t feel like it was a long time. It went really quickly. There were days or there were a couple of weeks that felt really long and really slow, but mostly was all happening really fast and I was training and I was improving each day. I could see that.

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“So I felt more motivated to go back again and get even better. So each day kept getting better, 2%, 1%. And when you are seeing that improvement, you also feel motivated to go back. I think it all worked out really well for me,” he said.

“I’m happy to come back into the team and get back the rhythm of being in the middle, playing 100 overs, keeping for 50 overs. I’m fighting for as long as I need to, just getting back that adrenaline of being back on the cricket field.

We’re playing the best tournaments outside of the World Cup. We’re playing some quality teams in the next week, 10 days. So I’m very excited about that. I’ve prepared really well. I’m confident about myself,” he added.

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