Indian boxer Vikas Krishan, whose Olympic campaign ended abruptly after a dislocated right shoulder caused an opening-round loss, has undergone surgery to fix the injury which will keep him out of action for the next three months.
The 29-year-old, who was competing in his third Olympics in Tokyo, was forced out early after "fighting with one hand" in the opening clash against Japan's Sewon Okazawa.
The surgery on his dislocated shoulder was performed at Mumbai's Kokilaben Hospital by renowned surgeon Dr. Dinshaw Pardiwala, who operated and fixed a career-threatening shoulder injury that newly-crowned Olympic gold-winner Neeraj Chopra had suffered in 2019.
Dr. Pardiwala has also operated top cricketers like Jasprit Bumrah and Shreyas Iyer along with star shuttler Saina Nehwal among others.
"I will be back in three months, I have been assured by Dr. Pardiwala. My shoulder had dislocated and a crucial muscle, called Subscapularis muscle, and a ligament had been torn," the decorated boxer told PTI after his surgery that took place on Thursday.
The subscapularis muscle is important for movement and strength in the shoulder. Vikas picked up the injury during the training trip to Italy before the Olympics. Unaware of the severity of the damage, he competed in the Olympics after taking painkilling injections.
Dr. Pardiwala said given the scale of the injury, painkillers were never going to be enough. "It was quite valiant of him to have gone ahead and fought the bout. But I guess that's what top athletes do, they blank out pain," Dr. Pardiwala told PTI.
"He told me that he experienced a dead arm during the bout. It will take three weeks for the healing to be completed and another three months for rehab before he can fight again," he said. Vikas was among the strongest bets for a medal at the Games but the injury shattered his hopes in the very first bout.
"He perhaps thought it was just pain and he could pull through. It is common for athletes to feel that. But the injury was quite severe. However, we have repaired everything now, it was a two-hour surgery," Dr. Pardiwala said.
After his loss in Tokyo, India's High-Performance Director Santiago Nieva had also said that the former Asian Games and Commonwealth Games medallist fought with one hand because of the injury.
Vikas dislocated the shoulder during the bout and could not move his right hand all through, leading to a loss. "I believe all that bad that could have happened to me has happened and I will come out of it stronger and better. I am not going to give up," he said.
The Indian men's boxing contingent of five had a disappointing outing as only Satish Kumar (+91kg) could log a win in the Games. He went out in the quarterfinals.