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“It was horrendous back then…had excruciating pain”: Shreyas Iyer details return from injury

First Published: 27th August, 2023 19:34 IST

Iyer said that he was down due to nerve compression and a slipped disk was compressing his nerve and causing extreme pain right down to his tiny toe. 

Indian middle-order batter Shreyas Iyer on Sunday detailed his rehabilitation process from a tough injury that kept him out of action for a large part of this year, saying that he is happy to return from the injury and did not expect to recover this fast from it. 

In an interview with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), ahead of the Asia Cup starting from August 30, Iyer talked about his mental state during the injury/rehab phase, support system, the practice camp in Bengaluru ahead of the continental event etc. 

“I am feeling happy to have rejoined the team and seeing happy faces all around. The compassion shown by all the players was fantastic and I am thrilled to be back,” said Iyer in the video. 

Iyer said that he was down due to nerve compression and a slipped disk was compressing his nerve and causing extreme pain right down to his tiny toe. 

“I had this nerve compression, basically slip disk which was compressing my nerve and the pain was going right down to my tiny toe. It was horrendous, to be honest at that point in time and I was in excruciating pain. I was not able to express myself properly what I was going through. This was the feeling I had back then, it was hard to communicate it to players. I was having it (this injury) way back and was taking injections, taking other routes to see through it and play more matches. But it reached a saturation point when I realized that I had to get surgery done. Physios and bag experts said that it is important that you go under the knife,” he added. 

Iyer said after the injury, he went back home, got hospitalised and took a lot of rest before he decided to go ahead with the surgery. 

“Straight after the injury, I went back home and was hospitalized for two days. I gave myself rest for ten days at home. During that period, one of the doctors checked my toe strength. He said that you can manage, but surgery would be required. I decided to get the surgery done because I have long years ahead to play. Even the doctors said that it was a great decision,” said Iyer. 

Iyer said that after the surgery, he was in London for three weeks. 

“Post-surgery, I was in London for three weeks. The doctor had to check my progress over a period of time. After three weeks, he asked me to come back then NCA (National Cricket Academy) physios took over. It was a roller coaster ride, to be honest. The pain was there for three months and then it started to subside. Physios focused on getting the range back of my hamstring etc.,” he said. 

“When you go through rehab as an athlete and pain is not subsiding, it is tough. I had a great set of friends around me, the support staff and family to support me. I was panicking, but patience is key at this point. I am truly happy to be back because I never thought I would recover so quickly,” he added. 
Iyer recalled that the testing phase was the toughest for him. 

“The testing phase was the toughest. There was pain and physios were confident about me coming back strongly. But I could feel the pain. I was oblivious to whether I would pass the test or not. But over time, it subsided and the strength in my legs improved. We started doing running sessions, the first one was really tough. I was a bit perplexed at that point. In the second session, I progressed, did the Yo-Yo Test, trials and gradually played a match. Then I was gaining that momentum. In the Yo-Yo Test, I surprised myself,” recalled Iyer.

Now that he has returned, Iyer wants to stay in the present.

“Now, important for me to be in the present, not think about what happened in the past or what will later. I want to do my routines right. I am happy being where I am at. I am ticking boxes day by day, had two fantastic days of practice with the boys. Happy to be back,” he concluded.

The Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan and Sri Lanka will start from August 30 with the match between arch-rivals India and Pakistan on September 2 at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium in Kandy set to serve as the Men in Blue’s campaign opener. 

The squad also marks the return of Jasprit Bumrah to ODI cricket after a gap of more than one year. After proving his fitness in the T20I series against Ireland, Bumrah is set to test himself in the 50-over format heading into the World Cup. India’s pace attack will be boosted by the return of Mohammed Siraj, who was not in the team for some time due to a sore ankle. KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer’s returns from injuries will also boost the Indian middle-order.

Tilak Varma made it to India’s Asia Cup squad on the back of his strong performance against West Indies during the tour that ended this month. 

Pakistan, India and Nepal are in Group A while Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in Group B. The tournament will follow a hybrid model with Pakistan hosting four matches across two venues and Sri Lanka hosting the remaining games.

The six group-stage matches will be followed by the Super Fours, beginning September 6. 
The final will be played by the top two teams at the end of the Super Fours on September 17 in Colombo.  

Squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Prasidh Krishna. (ANI)

Also Read: Assam’s Simu Das helps Indian women’s blind cricket team to win gold at IBSA World Games 2023

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