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India wicketkeeper batsman Rishabh Pant’s first statement since his life-threatening accident on December 30 sent the internet into a frenzy on Monday.

“I am humbled and grateful for all the support and well wishes,” Rishabh Pant wrote on Twitter. “I am happy to inform you that my operation was successful. The road to recovery has begun and I am ready for the challenges ahead.”

“Maybe I couldn’t thank everyone individually, but I have to recognize these two heroes who helped me during my accident and made sure I got to the hospital safely. Rajat Kumar and Nishu Kumar, Thank you. I will be forever grateful and indebted,” he added.

“From the bottom of my heart, I also want to thank all my fans, teammates, doctors and physios for your kind words and encouragement. Looking forward to seeing you all on the field,” the left-hander wrote in another tweet.

The 25-year-old cricketer’s ‘road to recovery’ post comes days after a popular cricket publication said he would not be available for the Indian Premier League (IPL) and the World Test Championship finals in June.

The website claimed that all three ligaments in Rishabh Pant’s knee were damaged in a horrific car accident in Uttarakhand late last month.

Both his ligaments have already been repaired after Pant underwent a double operation at Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. He will have another operation six weeks later to fix the third ligament in his knee.

According to the media, “In Pant’s case, all three ligaments of the knee were torn: the anterior cruciate ligament, the posterior cruciate ligament and the medial lateral ligaments, which are necessary for movement and stability. It is understood that both the PCL and MCL were reconstructed in the recent surgery. Pant will have another operation to repair his ACL, but doctors will wait at least six weeks before proceeding.”

As a result, Rishabh Pant is expected to be sidelined for a minimum of six months, throwing his selection for the ODI World Cup in October-November into limbo.

The BCCI had earlier said that the 25-year-old cricketer underwent surgery on right ligaments in his knee after they were torn in an accident last month while he was on his way to surprise his mother in Roorkee.

After undergoing initial treatment at Dehradun’s Max Hospital, Rishabh Pant was flown to Mumbai by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Being a centrally contracted player, Rishabh Pant’s treatment is the BCCI’s prerogative, and as his treatment in Dehradun was not going as expected, the Indian Cricket Board decided to place him under the direct supervision of Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala, Head of Sports Medicine and Center for Sports Medicine. Director of Arthroscopy and Shoulder Service, Mumbai Hospital.

Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala has previously treated names of other Indian cricket stalwarts including the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, current pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and 2011 World Cup winner Yuvraj Singh, among other notable sportsmen of the country.

Widely regarded as the best wicketkeeper in Tests, Rishabh Pant has scored 2,169 runs in 54 innings for the Whites, including five centuries and 10 half-centuries. He has a stunning strike rate of 73.10 and an average of 43.48 in the longest format of the game.

Last month, he led India to a 2-0 Test series win over Bangladesh in the neighboring country. In the process, Rishabh Pant joined a select group of Indian wicketkeepers, including former captain M.S. Dhoni to score 4000 runs in international cricket.

Team India members, including coach Rahul Dravid and T20I captain Hardik Pandya, earlier wished Rishabh Pant a speedy recovery.

“Rishabh, I hope you are doing well. I hope you get well soon. Over the last one year I have had the privilege of watching you play some of the greatest innings in Indian Test history. Whenever we have been in difficult situations, you have got the character to get us out of very difficult situations. This is one such challenge, I know you will return as you have done so many times this year. Can’t wait to see you back soon mate,” Rahul Dravid said in a video released by the BCCI.

“Hi Rishabh, just wanted to wish you a speedy recovery. I know you’ve been a fighter and things aren’t going your way, but life is life. You will break down all the doors and come back as you always did. My love and wishes are with you. The whole team and the nation are behind you,” said Hardik Pandya.



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