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News

Bumrah undergoes back surgery in New Zealand

If his recovery goes to plan, Bumrah should start bowling in August and be ready in time for the ODI World Cup

Nagraj Gollapudi
08-Mar-2023
Jasprit Bumrah prepares for a bowl, Birmingham, June 29, 2022

The Indian team management has said that it doesn't want to rush Jasprit Bumrah back into action  •  Getty Images

Jasprit Bumrah has undergone back surgery as he races against time to be fit for the ODI World Cup, to be played at home in India in October-November this year. The surgery was conducted in New Zealand on Monday.
ESPNcricinfo has learnt that Bumrah is expected to stay in New Zealand till the end of March. The roadmap for his return, as prepared by the BCCI's medical staff, is for him to resume training and bowling by August, and his workload will increase gradually after that, with the plan to get him completely fit for the World Cup.
Bumrah has not featured in any cricket since late September last year, when he pulled out of the home white-ball series against South Africa - the reason, reportedly, was a stress reaction in his lower back. He attempted a comeback in January this year for the home series against Sri Lanka, but that didn't happen after he experienced niggles in the back.
The latest update ruled him out of the 2023 edition of the IPL and the World Test Championship final at The Oval from June 7 (if India qualify).
It is understood that the BCCI medical staff at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru had been treating Bumrah's case on an urgent basis, and suggested the surgery as an option. The decision to get the surgery done was taken by the BCCI in coordination with the NCA and Bumrah.
It has been a frustrating wait for Bumrah, who has attempted to make a comeback more than once since suffering the back injury last August, which ruled him out of the Asia Cup. Initially, the injury had not seemed too serious as Bumrah was named in India's T20 World Cup squad on September 12. To mark his fitness, Bumrah even played in the last two T20Is of the Australia series on September 23 and 25.
However, three days later, Bumrah did not show up for the first T20I against South Africa in Thiruvananthapuram. It was later learnt that he had been taken for scans, which revealed a stress-related injury. The next day, Bumrah was taken to the NCA where further scans confirmed that the injury was serious, and he was subsequently ruled out of the T20 World Cup.
Bumrah resumed his rehab in November and started to bowl by mid-December. His progress seemed positive when the selectors belatedly added him for the white-ball series against Sri Lanka more than a week after the Indian squad was originally named.
While Bumrah had performed the match-simulation exercises at NCA, he felt discomfort while performing higher workloads during a fitness drill in Mumbai in early January. Scans revealed a fresh problem, which eventually ruled him out of the Australia Tests.
The Indian team management as well as the NCA want Bumrah to return only when he is absolutely fit to perform at his peak, with captain Rohit Sharma also warning India against rushing him back into action.

Nagraj Gollapudi is news editor at ESPNcricinfo