India news July 21, 2018

Saha set for surgery as injury confusion continues

ESPNcricinfo staff

© Associated Press

India wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is set to undergo surgery on his right shoulder in Manchester in the last week of July or early August. There is no timeline for his return to action after that, but it is likely that he won't be able to even lift a bat for two months after such a surgery. This bulletin was made public on the BCCI website on Saturday, three days after Saha was left out of the England tour with no reason given.

Even the head of the national selection panel MSK Prasad seemed to have been unaware of the shoulder injury. A day after the selection meeting in England, Prasad was quoted by the Kolkata-based Telegraph as saying that Saha's thumb fracture had not healed in time. However, it emerged later that Saha had been struggling with a shoulder injury for close to six months.

According to the bulletin, Saha complained of pain in his shoulder after returning from South Africa in January with a left hamstring injury. An MRI scan revealed a labral tear, for which he was given an "ultrasound-guided injection". The BCCI bulletin however doesn't say what the injection was.

Saha was discharged from the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru after being declared fully fit on March 19, but he injured the shoulder again on May 7 during an IPL game. Another ultrasound-guided injection was administered, this time under the supervision of the Sunrisers Hyderabad physiotherapist. Saha was forced to miss give IPL games and visited the NCA for rehab again.

The NCA physio Ashish Kaushik found the shoulder to be in the same condition as it had been before treatment in early February. When Saha recovered and finally played for Sunrisers again, on May 25, he fractured his thumb. When the BCCI announced, on June 2, that Saha was going to miss the one-off Test against Afghanistan, it made no mention of the shoulder injury. The thumb fully healed by July 2. Saha reported to NCA the next day, and it emerged that his shoulder condition had worsened.

On July 6 another steroid injection was administered, but it failed to heal the shoulder. On July 13, according to the bulletin, Saha was declared unfit and recommended surgery. Five days later, the selectors met to pick the team, but the BCCI didn't make a mention of the injury to Saha in its release.

"The entire course of treatment and consultation that was carried out at the NCA was performed in co-ordination with the India team management and the GM of operations," the bulletin from the under-fire NCA said. The team management includes captain, vice-captain and coach. The GM of operations is Saba Karim, the former India wicketkeeper.

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