India opener KL Rahul has expressed doubts over his availability for the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy that gets underway on June 1 in England.
The 27-year old right-handed batsman played through the pain barrier during the Border-Gavaskar series against Australia that concluded last month.
The Karnataka batsman had suffered a shoulder injury right during the first match in Pune but went on to play all the Tests and emerged as the second-highest run getter for India behind Cheteshwar Pujara (405) with 393 runs from 7 innings including six half-centuries.
He had to undergo a surgery for the injury and was also ruled out of the ongoing Indian Premier League. And if anyone was hoping that he would open for the team in the upcoming Champions Trophy then the chances are very bleak. Rahul himself said that he is not too sure of recovering from the injury in time.
“I have to wait and see but the chances are slim,” he told The Times of India.
Speaking about the injury, he said: “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.”
He further said the doctor has said the injury would take around a couple of months to heal.
“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,” he said.
He also said that the doctor and Team India physio were taken by surprise with the injury considering it mostly happens when athletes collide into each other.
“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 (he lofted Steve O’Keefe down the ground). 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,” he added.
Rahul also expressed his frustration over different injury setbacks he has received since making his Test debut against Australia in 2014.
“It is frustrating for a young man who is new to international cricket – it’s been two-and-a-half years now. I’ve already been injured twice or thrice. It makes me think about what I am doing wrong,” he said.
“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 minimise injuries will be my goal once I get back,” said Rahul.
If Rahul misses out, it is quite likely that the team would resort to their tried and tested opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Rohit was also sidelined with a thigh injury for around five months but returned to action in the Indian Premier League while Dhawan has struggled to get going in recent times. However, the southpaw is looking in good form in IPL and is likely to partner Rohit at the top.
Meanwhile, India will begin their title-defence against Pakistan on June 4.