HYDERABAD: National shuttler-turned-orthopaedic Dr B Vikas Reddy will monitor the Hyderabad Cricket Association (HCA) teams this season. “We want the Hyderabad Ranji team to be among the best in the country and hence ensuring that key players are injury free is the goal,” Vikas told ToI on Sunday as he spoke on his role with the cricket body.
Getting started: The first thing is to see how physios and trainers are training players. I want to see how they are working with players and getting them ready for the matches. If there is something that will make the players’ injury prone, I want to work on that.
Injury management: I will be taking care of the players’ injuries and try to get them back on the field as fast as possible. If a key player is injured then it’s my responsibility to take care of him and do the necessary protocols so that he makes a speedy recovery. A physio will have only little knowledge as to what and how he can strengthen certain muscles. But I will know what the injury is, how to keep him on medication, how long he will be off the field, the healing and recovery time, the kind of physio he needs to go through etc. Hence, my job is more comprehensive as I will be monitoring his rehabilitation too. The physio has to tell me what he is doing and if I find it’s inadequate, I will tell him what to do to hasten up the recovery process.
Counselling players: A sportsperson will go through injury phases and hence could be depressive. Some players, when they are not properly managed, can get injured frequently. In the rehabilitation process, a player will feel low in confidence, depressed etc. We have to make sure that they come out of it. Building their confidence and telling them how the injury is healing is my job.
Different injuries: I will have a few sessions with the physios, trainers and players on how to go about with things. Every player has some kind of difficulty – batsmen have a different kind of injury, fielders have different injuries and bowlers have different ones. I will talk to them about each situation and how to take care. If something is wrong with the bowling action or is causing injuries, I will ask the coaches to work on it.
Coordinating with coaches: As I don’t know the training and coaching part, I will work with the coaches in helping reduce the load on a players’ muscles so that the players’ don’t get injured.
Gameplan: I have formulated a plan on how to start net practice with certain players. On Tuesday, I will give a presentation to the HCA trainers and physios on how we can resume physical fitness and net practice etc. I want to divide the players into groups and let them do their own workouts by living in their own bubbles. A designated physio and coach will be for a particular group so that they don’t interact with the other groups but at the same time coordinate among themselves. I will take feedback from the coaches and trainers and see how things can be done for the players and keep them fit for the season.
Covid-19: I will also look into Covid-19 protocols and how to minimize contact between players and coaches, trainers etc.
Badminton connection: I was a badminton player before taking a different route to reach where I am now. I played professionally for 11 years from 1992 to 2002. I was U-12 national champion in 1995, was ranked No.3 in U-15 singles in the country in 1997, was India No.1 in U-19 doubles with Bidin Balan in 2002 and Jwala (Gutta) and I were India No.1 in mixed doubles (U-19).
Giving back to the game: Most of the academies, including P Gopichand’s academy, send their players to me for consultation on injury management. I have treated PV Sindhu, K Srikanth, P Kashyap, Saina Nehwal and Gayatri Gopichand among others. All the injured players come to me for treatment. I do it as a goodwill gesture because I want to give something back to the game. I loved the game so much that I never thought I would leave it but had to do so because I had joined Gandhi Medical College in 2001. I want to give back something to the game and treating injured badminton players is a way to do so.