Rishabh Pant expected to be out of action for most of 2023
He has torn three key ligaments in his knee, two of which were reconstructed recently while surgery on the third is expected after six weeks
Rishabh Pant is unlikely to play any cricket for most of 2023 and is set to miss a slew of marquee tournaments including the IPL. ESPNcricinfo has learned that the medical update given to the BCCI on Pant, who survived a car crash on December 30, says the wicket-keeper batter has torn all three key ligaments in his knee, two of which were reconstructed recently while surgery on the third is expected after six weeks.
As a consequence, Pant is in danger of being sidelined for at least six months, which could also potentially affect his chances of being fit for selection for the ODI World Cup, scheduled to take place in India in October-November.
Last week, Pant underwent knee surgery after his right ligaments were damaged in the accident that occurred when he was driving from Delhi to meet his family in Roorkee. As one of India's top contracted players, Pant was airlifted from Dehradun at the BCCI's behest and flown to Mumbai last week to be put under the supervision of Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala, one of the specialist surgeons contracted by the board.
The BCCI issued three medical bulletins since the accident and the surgery, including one that stated Pant had also injured his right ankle. ESPNcricinfo has learned that all three ligaments in the knee - anterior cruciate ligament, posterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament, which are necessary for movement and stability - have been torn in Pant's case. It is understood that in the surgery conducted recently, both the PCL and MCL were reconstructed. Pant will need to undergo another surgery to reconstruct his ACL, but the doctors will wait for at least six weeks before going ahead with it.
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There is no definitive timeline given by the doctors yet on how long it would take Pant to resume training, but both the BCCI and the selectors have concluded that the wicketkeeper-batter would be out for a minimum of six months.
Pant, who last featured in the away series in Bangladesh in December, was rested for the home series against Sri Lanka. On Monday he was absent from the squads announced for the New Zealalnd series followed by the first two Tests of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. Pant, who is Delhi Capitals' captain, will also miss the IPL, which begins on April 1. Another key match Pant will be absent from is the World Test Championship final in June in case India make it to the summit clash.
The selectors have named KS Bharat and Ishan Kishan as the wicketkeeper options in Pant's absence for the first half of the Australia Test series. Bharat and Kishan will also contest the keeper's role in the three-match ODI series against New Zealand starting next week.