Updated March 16th, 2024 at 13:49 IST

'Doctors believed that he may take up to two years': NCA physio reveals how Rishabh Pant defied odds

It looked like it may take a long long time but fifteen months after a horrific car accident, Rishabh Pant will make his comeback in IPL 2024 for Delhi Capitals

Rishabh Pant recalls accident | Image:PTI/Star Sports
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It looked like it may take a long long time but fifteen months after Rishabh Pant was involved in a horrific car accident on the Delhi-Dehradun highway in December 2022, the wicketkeeper-batter has now received a green signal to play in the IPL, starting March 22. It did not look like he would make his full return in IPL 2024 but after sheer perseverance and persistent, Pant has returned to the field and would captain Delhi Capitals in IPL 2024. Now, he might even make it to the T20 World Cup for India.

IPL 2024: Pant's background in gymnastics helped in recovery

The doctors have said Rishabh Pant's mental strength and his background in gymnastics has helped the dashing wicketkeeper-batter to make an early recovery.

"The mental strength and confidence inside him made us give our 100 per cent in doing the rehab part for him," Thulasi Yuvraj, a physiotherapist at the National Cricket Academy told 'bcci.tv' "The doctors believed that he may take up to two years. Once he came to NCA, it was like a progressive phase for him," he added.

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Pant had dabbled in gymnastics at a young age and that served as an asset in his recovery, according to Nishanta Bordoloi, the strength and conditioning coach at NCA, "One thing was that Rishabh has a background for gymnastic which was a very very big asset for us because there are a few things that come naturally to him," Bordoloi said.

"Anytime he would feel he couldn't move, he could tumble or roll over back to his feet again. Which was so much of an added advantage for him.

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"The beginning phase was to get foundational strength in him, making his body understand what the movements are like.

"It's completely reconstructed thing and once it's reconstructed it takes a lot of mind and body connection. The neural system need to understand, the muscle, tendons have to function," he added.

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Although Pant left no stone unturned, ticking all the boxes, the 26-year found the rehab mundane.

"Rehab is very irritating, have to do same thing again and again. But you have to do it because you don't have any other choice. It's boring but the more you do the better you get," said Pant.

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But returning to the cricket field has made him love the sport more than he could imagine.

"I feel so happy when I go to the ground. The love of cricket has gone up, I used to love it more than anything before but still there is an increase." His treating doctor, renowned orthopedic surgeon Dinshaw Pardiwala has credited the NCA staff and the cricketer's extreme motivation for his comeback.

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"NCA keeping a physio with him daily. Making sure the determination and intensity was there each an every day. He has returned so quickly, six months earlier than anticipated. It is because of his drive, his extreme motivation and also he expertise in rehab aspect," Pardiwal said. 

(with PTI inputs)

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Published March 16th, 2024 at 13:49 IST