County news February 25, 2014

Delay to surgery hurts Thakor

Vithushan Ehantharajah

Leicestershire allrounder Shiv Thakor is set to be out of action until the end of June after undergoing a second operation in two months to fix a troublesome broken finger which he played with throughout the 2013 season.

Thakor initially broke the middle finger of his left hand in the opening game of the England Under-19 tour of South Africa in January of last year, with the ECB insisting he return to the UK to have an operation as soon as possible.

But Leicestershire asked him to delay surgery so that he would not miss the start of the summer. As a result, the middle finger set in a position overlapping his ring finger, meaning he could barely grip his top hand onto the bat. Fielding was almost impossible, with Thakor having to go for almost everything with his right hand.

ESPNcricinfo understands Thakor wanted to undergo surgery straightaway, which would have meant missing the beginning of the summer. After consulting with specialists, Leicestershire advised against an operation, telling Thakor to manage the injury throughout the season, before seeking further help at the end of the year.

Despite the appearance of his finger and the pain he was suffering, he was not offered the option of a mid-season operation, despite consultations with a hand surgeon in London who felt the finger needed treatment straight away.

Eventually, almost 11 months after the break occurred, he went for surgery in Leeds, by which time complications had arisen. The first operation last December was supposed to correct the shape of the finger and allow it to bend, but the bone graft dissolved and the main joint was allowed to slide back into a bad position, making matters worse.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, director of cricket Phil Whitticase admitted the decision to play on with the injury had not worked: "It's a shame because ourselves and Shiv decided to go into the season and manage the injury and it hasn't worked out. He played through the pain and perhaps it affected his performance. The hope is that this second operation fixes things up and Shiv is able to make a full recovery."

Thakor is currently in the last year of his current deal with Leicestershire and Whitticase confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that an offer of an extension has been turned down. Talks are ongoing, with both parties keen to progress, but the feeling from those close to the player is that Leicestershire have not managed him well over the last 12 months. Despite this, Thakor is keen to contribute all he can to his home county in 2014 upon successfully completing his rehab.

Last season was a disappointing season for both himself and Leicestershire who finished bottom of the County Championship without a victory. Thakor, however, managed to play 35 matches in all three competitions and registered a maiden Championship century against Kent in April.

The whole affair has been a major setback for Thakor, a level-headed individual who has been touted for international honours after an impressive start to his professional career. In 2011, he became the first Leicestershire-born player to score a century on first-class debut (134 against Loughborough MCCU). A surprise omission from the Under-19 World Cup squad in 2012, he was appointed captain of the side at the beginning of 2013.

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