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Doctors gave Rishabh Pant with ‘no ligaments spared’ 18 months to recover; He said ‘I’ll show you I can do it in 12’

The journey of Rishabh Pant’s miraculous comeback – 16 months after his unfortunate car accident – couldn’t have been possible without those around him.

The fact that Rishabh Pant has made a full recovery in 16 months following his horrific car accident in December of 2022 is nothing less than a miracle. Rightly called ‘The Miracle Man’, Pant was two days ago declared fully fit, enough to perform the role of a wicketkeeper batter for Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2024. But the road to recovery wasn’t an easy one by any stretch of the imagination. When the accident occurred, there were serious concerns, including whether Pant would ever be able to walk again, let alone play cricket.

Rishabh Pant is back in the Delhi Capitals nets. (PTI)

The injury inflicted was of such magnitude that the idea of amputating Pant’s leg crossed the minds of the doctors. Hence, to bounce back from such uncertainty to getting back to doing the thing he loves the most… Pant deserves every bit of love and adulation that is coming his way.

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In a video upload by the BCCI which sums up Pant’s journey back to top-flight cricket, doctor Dinshaw Padriwala, Director, Centre for Sports Medicine, Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai, revealed that when Pant was first operated, things did not look much promising. His mother even wondered if Rishabh would ever be able to walk. And while Padriwala promised that he will ensure Pant is back on his feet, to be able to play cricket again will take a long and arduous grind. The initial timeline that was drawn out targetted Pant’s return in a period of 18 months, but he was eager to cut it short and wowed to regain fitness sooner.

A big salute to Pant’s grit

“Because this was such a severe injury, taking each step at a time was crucial. Step No. 1 was taking care of the surgery and all that goes around it. Then taking care of that rehab and going slow initially in that phase so we don’t disturb the healing process. Then we accelerate in the subsequent phase so that we get back the agility, strength and movement. So if we do it this way, then the likelihood of him being ready in about 18 months is there. When I told Rishabh 18 months, he said ‘ok fine, but I’m going to show you I can do it in 12 months,'” he said.

As per Dhananjay Kaushik, physiotherapist at the National Cricket Academy, Pant had ruptured all three major ligaments in his right knee – ACL, PCL, lateral-collateral and more. When the knee dislocates, many things around it break, and with each damage, the uncertainty around Pant only grew further. As Pant missed big events such as the Asia Cup, the World Test Championship final and of course the 2023 World Cup, frustration crept in, and it took him every bit of courage, motivation and determination to overcome that phase and emerge stronger than before.

“I feel very close to normal. When I started walking without crutches, that was a high point. Then started jogging a little bit, that was a high for me, then started batting, then started keeping as I took joy in everything,” Pant said.

“The physical recovery or the mental recovery can still be dealt with but to make it happen, you need people around you and everyone has put in a lot of effort. You understand the true meaning of gratitude and appreciation when you hit a setback like this.”


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