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Rishabh Pant’s road to recovery: BCCI, NCA prioritize complete fitness

Rishabh Pant’s road to recovery: BCCI, NCA prioritize complete fitness

The NCA is pleased with Pant's progress, and there's a possibility of him becoming match-ready during the England Test series.

It’s been a challenging 356 days since Rishabh Pant last graced the cricket field in an Indian jersey. A horrific car crash on December 30, 2022, after the Test against Bangladesh in Mirpur, threw the talented wicketkeeper-batsman into the unknown. Ligament tears in the right knee, cuts on the forehead, bruises on the back, and ankle damage were the unwelcome aftermath of the accident, compelling Pant to face a long period away from the game.

While his teammates participated in bilateral fixtures, IPL 2023, WTC Final, Asia Cup, and the ODI World Cup, Rishabh Pant embarked on a journey to regain match fitness under the watchful eyes of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.

From entering the NCA on crutches to making significant strides on the road to recovery, Pant is now on the verge of making a comeback, with indications pointing towards him being match-fit around the 2024 edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

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Recent updates on Pant’s progress reveal encouraging signs, particularly in terms of ankle and knee engagement, critical elements of his recovery given his role as a wicketkeeper. Sources close to the developments told News18 that Pant’s recovery has surpassed expectations, with the load on his body set to gradually increase. Running at 100% intensity is expected to commence from the upcoming week.

For the past few weeks, Rishabh Pant has been engaged in afternoon sessions at the NCA, involving running at 80-90% intensity, release sessions with the physio, spin bike sessions, and strength-building exercises, with a focus on lower-body strength and conditioning.

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NCA pleased with Rishabh Pant progress

The NCA is pleased with Pant’s progress, and there’s a possibility of him becoming match-ready during the England Test series. However, both the BCCI and NCA are likely to exercise caution and patience, preferring a gradual return to action. The possibility of Pant participating in the IPL seems more viable, considering the approach taken with players like Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah during their injury layoffs.

From the day of the accident, the BCCI, led by secretary Jay Shah, has been proactive in managing the delicate situation. Immediate arrangements were made for an air ambulance to transfer Pant from Dehradun to Mumbai for further treatment and surgery.

The BCCI medical team, Delhi Capitals co-owner Kiran Grandhi, and the NCA, led by VVS Laxman, Dr. Nitin Patel, and a team of physios and coaches, have played pivotal roles in Pant’s rehabilitation.

Pant’s journey at the NCA, marked by incredible progress from crutches to running and lifting weights, reflects his resilience and determination. As he bounces back “one rep at a time,” Pant’s return to the cricket field draws nearer. Cricket enthusiasts await the day when he once again dazzles with his explosive batting and witty banter from behind the stumps.

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