Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has returned to India from the UAE after sustaining a knee injury. The Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) bowler is likely to miss a whole chunk of the domestic season as well. Kuldeep, who has been out of favour when it comes to India selection will undergo a lengthy rehabilitation before getting back to playing competitive cricket.
"Yes, we got the information that Kuldeep sustained a nasty knee injury during a practice session in UAE. Apparently while fielding, he twisted his knee and it was really bad at that point. There was no chance that he could have taken any further part and was sent back to India," a senior BCCI official tracking developments of IPL teams told PTI on condition of anonymity.
It is understood that Kuldeep will has undergone a surgery in Mumbai and it could be 4-6 months before he returns to action. "Knee injuries are generally bad. It's a very long process from starting to walk and then getting strength back through intense physiotherapy sessions at the NCA, followed by light intensity training and finally starting with net sessions.
"It can't be said with certainty that Kuldeep will be match ready by the time Ranji Trophy ends," another IPL source privy to the developments said. On Twitter, Kuldeep has posted a picture of him with KKR head coach Brendon McCullum, who is celebrating his birthday on Monday.
"That's obviously an old photograph. Kuldeep has come back in India. If I am not wrong, he is already done with his surgery," the source said.
It must be mentioned that Kuldeep has had a rough ride in the past two years, after a five-wicket haul in Sydney, when head coach Ravi Shastri had termed him as India's No. 1 spinner in overseas conditions.
Things changed drastically since the 2019 IPL when Kuldeep had a slump in form and since then his career went southwards as the Indian team management lost faith in his abilities even on rank turners, where classical left-arm orthodox Shahbaz Nadeem was picked from the stand-by, but Kuldeep, who was in main squad, didn't get a chance.
The 26-year-old from Kanpur has played 7 Tests, 65 ODIs and 23 T20Is for a total of 174 wickets across formats. He last played for India in Sri Lanka but it was more of a middling performance with best figures of 2/48 in an ODI game and 2/30 in a T20 International. He played two more games during that tour -- an ODI and a T20I -- in which he went wicket-less.
(With inputs from PTI)