"It was tough to sit in the hotel room, watching the team play. When you know you are injured, doing your rehab and stuff. It is hard to be in that position and see the team play," said Rohit Sharma.  © BCCI

“It was tough to sit in the hotel room, watching the team play. When you know you are injured, doing your rehab and stuff. It is hard to be in that position and see the team play,” said Rohit Sharma. © BCCI

The 2017 Indian Premier League will see Rohit Sharma make a comeback after being sidelined by a thigh injury in October. The recuperation process was a difficult five-month long process, and Rohit, who will be leading Mumbai Indians for the fifth season in a row, admitted that he was initially scared by the injury.

“To be honest, I was scared when that [injury] happened,” he told reporters on Sunday (April 2) in Mumbai. “It’s something which has never happened to me. I heard a very loud noise while taking a run. I was little scared until we got an MRI done, I did not know what to expect and what it was.

Rohit picked up the injury during the fifth and final match against New Zealand in Visakhapatnam, and had to undergo a surgery on his right upper quadriceps tendon in London in November.

“We spoke to a lot of doctors around and with Patrick [Farhat, the India physiotherapist] as well. They all gave me the confidence saying it was not a major problem; it’s just a small injury that you need to go through. Being a sportsperson, you have to be strong. I went through it quite comfortably.”

Rohit turned out for two matches in the Vijay Hazare Trophy earlier this month, returning scores of 16 and 4, after spending some time at the National Cricket Academy in Bangalore as part of the rehabilitation process. But the timing of the injury meant Rohit could only take part in just three of the 13 Tests India played in the recently concluded home season.

“It was tough to sit in the hotel room, watching the team play,” he said. “It is always tough. But I guess you have to go through it. I have been through it many times before. When you know you are injured, doing your rehab and stuff. It is hard to be in that position and see the team play. The most important thing for me was not to get frustrated and do unnecessary or unwanted things. So I was completely focussed on my rehab and make sure these things don’t happen in the future.”

Though Rohit wasn’t able to compete in the Deodhar Trophy with a minor knee problem, he was confident he was fit after going through a 40-over practice game ahead of the IPL. The Board of Control for Cricket in India also cleared him to play the entire tournament.

“Yesterday was our practice game and I played the full 40 overs without any issues, So, everything’s fine”, he said. “Credit to the NCA staff for putting that effort. When you have a big injury you tend to lose a lot of muscle and that weakens your strength a bit. So the big challenge for me was to gain that muscle back first and become a lot stronger. There were a lot of things I focussed on and thankfully, I am back on my feet and ready to play.”

Mumbai will open their campaign against Rising Pune Supergiant in Pune on Thursday.