India opener Lokesh Rahul has admitted the chances of him being fit for the Champions Trophy are slim as he seeks to fully recover from a shoulder injury that has forced him out of the IPL.
Rahul injured his shoulder in the first Test against Australia but opted to play through the pain despite the injury limiting his shot selection and requiring constant pain medication.
The batsman told the Times of India: “I have to wait and see but the chances are slim.
“I had torn my labrum [a ring of fibrocartilage attached to the shoulder socket]. I couldn’t get into a few positions because my shoulder kept dislocating. That’s why I couldn’t play a lot of shots and had to restrict myself. I played with a lot of medication and taping.
“The doctor said it will take 2-3 months. Each body is different, so you don’t know how it recovers. It is totally up to me and how I well I take care of myself in the rehab phase. For now, it is 2-3 weeks of relaxing and after that, I will start physiotherapy. My rehab will start from there.”
The injury surprised doctors as the type of knock sustained is usually synonymous with contact sports but Rahul believes he dislocated his shoulder while hitting Steve O’Keefe for six.
Rahul added: “It is a sports injury but the doctor was surprised it happened because of batting.
“It mostly happens in contact sports where people run into you.
“The physio (Patrick Farhart) was surprised because there was no such major incident. It was that moment in Pune when I played a shot – not the one I got out to, but the one that went for six (he lofted Steve O’Keefe down the ground). That’s when I knew that my shoulder dislocated and went back in. I got out playing the same shot, so by then it was completely damaged. I couldn’t do anything after that.”
Rahul is spending the time out of the game trying to ensure that he doesn’t sustain any more injuries having already suffered a number of spells on the sidelines in his young career.
He said: “It is frustrating for a young man who is new to international cricket – it’s been two-and-a-half years now. I’ve already been injured twice or thrice. It makes me think about what I am doing wrong.
“I can’t see any reason why I keep getting injured because I am disciplined with my fitness and my diet and I look after my body. Now is the time to see what I can change in training. To be injury-free is wishful thinking for a sportsman. To be fit and minimize injuries will be my goal once I get back.”