Indian middle-order batter and wicketkeeper KL Rahul on Sunday recalled his journey back into the team after sustaining an injury and how time away from the game helped him discover love and enjoyment for training. India will take on arch-rivals Pakistan in their Asia Cup Super Four clash in Colombo on Sunday. KL will also be making his return to the team after not featuring in the Asia Cup group stage due to a niggle.
Talking about his return from injury in a video posted by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), KL said, “I am feeling good. It is good to be back with the team. It has been quite some time since I have been away. I am glad everything worked out on schedule, happy I could tick all the boxes.”
Challenges while undergoing surgery
Fighting a mental battle
Getting back in touch
— BCCI (@BCCI) September 10, 2023
Talking about his thigh injury, which happened during an Indian Premier League (IPL) match between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and his franchise Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) on May 1, he said that he suffered a full tendon tear. After scans made it clear that the injury was big, KL had no choice but to undergo surgery.
“I tried chasing a ball, but my tendon snapped. I had a full-fledged tear, my tendon ripped apart from my quadriceps. When it happened, my family, franchise and everyone had their fingers crossed hoping it was not something big, but a small strain that could go in two weeks. But after scans, we realised it was a full tear and it became clear that I could recover from it after going under the knife. It took us a few days to decide where I was supposed to go for surgery and who was the best surgeon and I would like to thank BCCI, physios, and doctors who made sure I got the best treatment and surgery. You need the support of people at such times and I had it,” said the batter.
KL highlighted the need for rest and recovery time after surgery and how one must respect his/her body for undergoing a “big repair”.
“During the surgery, you have to respect that your body has gone through something big, a big repair and you must give it enough time to recover. Skills-wise, I knew I needed just a few weeks to get back in touch. I gave myself 2-3 weeks to get back to playing cricket and get the skill part of it. The big part was to feel confident in my own body, stay pain-free, free in movement that needed a lot of intensity. I knew I had to keep wickets on my comeback. Me and physios were concerned about it and there was a question mark in my head. When you are squatting down for every ball, it needs a lot of strength in your quads. You need your body to support you and feel pain-free,” said KL.
The batter said that getting over the fact and a mental battle that he could feel pain was a big challenge for him, but it happened as he took things step by step under the guidance of trainers, and physios of the National Cricket Academy (NCA).
“Sometimes, you fight a mental battle where you feel you might feel pain and it does not let you focus on skills. Getting over that fear and pain was a really big challenge. It can only happen when you take things step by step. NCA trainers, and physios guided me, on when to step up, and step down. That is how skill took place, I started sprinting, but during that process, I developed a small niggle just before I could come back, which was a big downer. I was ahead of the schedule and felt I could come back before the Asia Cup and give myself some time. But that niggle pushed me back two weeks. There were ups and downs during recovery. I was ready mentally, this helped me a lot,” he said.
“When I had surgeries and injuries previously, I found myself bored, not knowing what to do, not having any motivation to wake up and do physio. It becomes boring and frustrating. But this time, it did not happen. I do not know what it was, but I managed to get the motivation to do the boring stuff. Being away from the game for such a long time, I wanted to enjoy something as boring as physio, which is not as rewarding as playing a game of cricket. I tried to enjoy each day as it came, it made it easy. It felt that time went by quickly. There were a couple of weeks that felt really long, but mostly it was happening really fast. I was training, improving every day so I felt motivated to go back and train,” he added.
On a concluding note, KL said that he is happy being back on the side and getting back his rhythm. “Happy to be back in the team, get back that rhythm of playing for 50-overs, 100-overs, wicketkeeping for 50 overs, batting as long as my time needs and getting back that adrenaline. We are playing some quality teams in the coming days, I hope all goes well. I am confident, and have prepared well,” KL signed off.
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