Dr Sohail resigns after PCB medical committee finds negligence in Ihsanullah’s injury treatment – Sport

LAHORE: Dr Sohail Saleem, the head of Pakistan Cricket Board’s medical department, resigned on Thursday after a medical committee formed by the PCB revealed negligence and significant loopholes in the treatment of the elbow injury of Pakistan fast bowler Ihsanullah.

“Dr Sohail Saleem, Director of Medical and Sports Sciences, has tendered his resignation, which has been accepted by the PCB [chairman Mohsin Naqvi],” the news release issued by the PCB on the matter on Thursday said.

This is the second time when Dr Sohail had to resign from this post. In 2021, he stepped down as Ehsan Mani-headed PCB regime was not satisfied with the arrangements made during PSL 6 where several positive Covid-19 cases surfaced during that edition held in Karachi. Later, the league was rescheduled and the remaining matches were staged in the UAE.

The PCB chief had formed a three-member independent medical committee after Pakistan Super League (PSL) franchise Multan Sultans decided to send Ihsanullah to London as his injuries deteriorated due to negligence in the medical treatment.

Then the PCB, realising the gravity of the matter, decided to provide full treatment to the bowler besides forming a medical committee to find the problem, which aggravated the injury.

“The independent three-member Medical Committee, comprising Prof Rana Dilawaiz Nadeem, Dr Mumraiz Naqshband and Prof Javed Akram, tasked with reviewing the handling of fast bowler Ihsanullah’s right elbow injury and recommending next steps, submitted its detailed report to PCB Chairman Mr Mohsin Naqvi on Thursday,” said the PCB news release.

“After a thorough examination of the case history, including all MRI, ultrasound, and related reports, interviews with members of the PCB Medical and Sports Sciences Department and Ihsanullah, and consultations with renowned surgeons and specialists, including Prof Adam Watts (Consultant Hand, Elbow & Upper Limb Surgeon), Mr Javed Mughal (Director and Lead Physiotherapist, Rainham Physiotherapy Centre), and Dr Mohammad Waseem (Consultant Orthopedic Surgeon, Shoulder & Elbow Specialist), the committee has recommended Ihsanullah should continue with aggressive physiotherapy and rehabilitation of right elbow and shoulder. Surgery may be the last option if he does not recover in six to 12 months.

“In addition to recommending the treatment plan, the Medical Committee has also identified and highlighted delays in the diagnosis of Ihsanullah’s injury and inappropriate prescription of treatment, as well as non-compliance by the fast bowler with the prescribed rehabilitation plan.

“The committee concludes that Ihsanullah’s condition of right elbow pain was not addressed, treated and operated appropriately. There was a delay in reaching the clinical diagnoses and investigations. He did not receive a formal rehabilitation process as required by his condition,” the detailed news release continued.

“His surgery was planned hurriedly without any specialist review and preoperative assessment.

“The surgeon recommended by the Director of Medical and Sports Sciences was inappropriate, lacking the academics and experience in the field.

“Postoperatively, Ihsanullah was not fully compliant to the rehabilitation protocols as alleged by the PCB officials. He continues to have medial elbow pain along with shoulder dyskinesia. He has significant elbow stiffness for which surgery is not advised currently as per advice of nat­ional and international appropriate exp­erts in the specialty shoulder and elbow.

“However, we strongly believe that in view of the talent possessed by Ihsanullah, he be physically assessed on his arrival to Pakistan whereby an appropriate rehabilitation plan be developed in a multi-disciplinary fashion, including consideration of hydrodilation and the same be implemented to provide the best chance to the player to live up to his potential again,” the release concluded.

Hailing from Swat, the 21-year-old Ihsanullah impressed with his pace and accuracy in the 2022 and 2023 PSL editions. As a result, the right-armer was picked for Pakistan’s T20 International series against New Zealand and Afghanistan staged during March-April in 2023. He has claimed six wickets in four T20 Internationals so far with best bowling figures of 3-29 against Afghanistan.

Furthermore, the medical committee conducted reviews on the cases of other cricketers including Arshad Iqbal, Zeeshan Zameer and women cricketer Shawal Zulfikar.

“Regarding Arshad, the committee recommended a two-month rehabilitation programme while for Zeeshan, the committee suggested the bowler undergoes examination by a foot and ankle specialist,” the news release read.

“As for Shawal, the committee suggested conducting a CT scan of her right shoulder before proposing any further course of action.”

Published in Dawn, May 3rd, 2024

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