Ahead of his return to the Indian team in the upcoming Asia Cup after being out of action for nearly five months, middle order batter Shreyas Iyer recalled his back injury as a horrendous experience.

The recurrence of his injury had forced Iyer to sit out of the first innings of the final Test in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy and eventually ruled him out of the One Day International series that followed. The Kolkata Knight Riders captain was also ruled out of the Indian Premier League and the World Test Championship final.

“I had this issue for a while, but I was taking injections and going through various routes to see to it that I am steady and playing many more matches. But it reached a saturation point where I realised that ‘okay, now I have to get a surgery,” said Iyer in a video posted by BCCI.

He explained, “To be precise, I had this nerve compression, basically a slipped disc which was compressing the nerve and the pain was going all the way to the bottom of my tiny toe.”

The 28-year-old reported suffering from a similar injury after the ODI series against Sri Lanka in January. He was then ruled out of the ODI series against New Zealand. However, he was authorised to attend the team’s training camp in preparation for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy after he was sent to the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru.

The Mumbai batter successfully underwent back surgery in London in April and returned to the NCA for rehab to regain match fitness before the Asia Cup and the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup in October.

“It was horrendous, to be honest. I was in excruciating pain. I wasn’t able to express myself properly as to what I was going through,” recalled Iyer.

He added: “The pain was there until three months back, and then after that, it started subsiding. But at the same time, the physios were focused on getting the range back - of my hamstring, glutes and everything.”

This week, he also thanked the NCA physiotherapist Nitin Patel and trainer Rajinikant on social media.

“When you’re going through rehab as a professional athlete, it is tough when the pain is not subsiding. Thankfully, I had a great set of friends around me, the support staff, and also my family. They were the ones who calmed me down. I was panicking as well, but patience is key at this point of time,” said Iyer in the video.

“The testing phase was the toughest period to go through [during rehab]. The physios and trainers were pretty confident of me coming back strong. But in my mind, I could feel the pain. I was pretty oblivious at that point of time, whether I would pass the test or not. But over a period of time, I realised pain was subsiding and strength was improving in my legs,” he added.

With Iyer having been declared fully fit ahead of the Asia Cup, India would be hoping for him to get that much-needed game time and slot back into the middle-order before the World Cup next month.

Watch the entire video here.