As the Indian team management and national selection committee sweat over the availability of Jasprit Bumrah for the T20 World Cup, an old video of Shoaib Akhtar has resurfaced in which the former Pakistan pacer talks about how Bumrah’s uncanny action could lead to career-threatening back injuries.
While that video has stirred a debate in cricketing circles, former India physio John Gloster believes Bumrah’s back stress fracture didn’t happen because of his action.
“We go back and look at all the parameters, we look at the load and work out why it happened in the first place. For a bowler like Bumrah, people say, ‘Oh, it happens because of his action…’ but I don’t agree with that because he has been bowling with that action for probably 15 years or more now. So I don’t think it’s because of his bowling action,” Gloster told Sportstar on Friday.
While there is a buzz that Bumrah is unlikely to travel to Australia with the team, the BCCI is still optimistic. Gloster, who is now associated with Rajasthan Royals, explained the recovery process for such cases.
“So, most fractures occur because of changing of the load and either repeatedly overloading without the adequate rest periods, or a period of rest and a spike in load, that’s probably one of the most dangerous ones,” he said.
“We have the ability to monitor load very closely these days with the GPS and other tracking devices. But one of the things that I look at is monitoring this fatigue, it is determined by a number of things – lack of sleep and that cascades into physiological fatigue.Fatigue can be from poor nutrition, poor muscle preparation, there is also neuro fatigue when the neuro-tissue is stressed that causes muscle to fatigue…” he explained.
Having worked with the Indian team for long, Gloster understands that such injuries can happen to a fast bowler.
“In such cases, we go back and we revisit the load and all the blood markers to determine why this possibly happened. The easy part of this is the actual physical rehab, there are some really good set protocols. But we try to keep them in a period of what we call active rest as much as possible.
“So, they rest from the aggravating activities, in this case the hyperextension rotation like reflection and compression, spinal movements, we remove those, so that area is resting and the bone bruises and the fracture is healing. But then we subject other things around that to active rest.”
Gloster believes that for someone with a previous history, who has been in a good well-managed environment, things should get better within three to four months.
“The rehab programmes are really good these days and I think we have accelerated the return of most stress injuries based on the information and data that we have recorded from most injuries. It’s a very structured programme. Jasprit has had a history of stress fractures before, so I find they tend to do quite well,” he said, adding, “But again I don’t know his history or his current imaging results, so it’s hard to comment on that…”