Reigning Commonwealth and Asian Games champion Neeraj Chopra pulled out of Asian Athletics Championships that were held in Doha due to an issue with his right elbow.
He has now undergone arthroscopic surgery to remove bone fragments from his right elbow under the watchful eyes of sports orthopaedic Dr Dinshaw Pardiwala in Mumbai.
Chopra seemed to be recovering well in South Africa after physiotherapist Anita van ser Lingen had identified the problem in February. But the pain in the elbow flared up again ahead of the Asian Championships and he was forced to pull out of the event.
According to a report in The Tribune: “The decision to undergo surgery was delayed by two confusing diagnoses. Dr Pardiwala and a few others were of the opinion that there was no damage to the ligament and hence Chopra needed only the arthroscopic surgery to remove the bone fragments.”
But India’s national javelin coach Uwe Hohn and a Belgian doctor were insisting that the MRI showed his ligament was torn too, and thus it too needed to be operated on. Besides, there were efforts to also seek out non-surgery options.
The ligament, according to sources in the know, is not a major issue at the moment and can be managed with proper rehab and some improvement in biomechanics/throwing technique.
Operating on the ligament would also have meant a much longer recovery period. Hence, after consultation with multiple doctors in India and abroad, the decision was taken to go with the arthroscopy.
Chopra will be in Mumbai for at least a couple of weeks more. He still has an outside chance of making the World Championships scheduled to be held in Doha from September 27.
If recovery goes well, Chopra should be throwing again in August.
National athletics head coach Bahadur Singh said on Tuesday that the star javelin thrower should skip the World Championships later this year if he is not fully fit by then.
“He should be careful and should not rush himself into competitions,” Singh had said. “His injury should be treated carefully. If you ask me, I will say that he should skip the World Championships if he is not fully fit by that time.”