Chandigarh: With a number of sportspersons including cricketers facing injury problems, the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) here has established a Sports Rehabilitation Clinic that will look after the rehabilitation issues of high performance athletes.

"In addition to the Sports Injury Clinic functional under the orthopedics department, the Sports Rehab clinic has been recently started," Head of newly created Department of Physical Medicine and Rehab (PMR) at PGIMER, Dr M S Dhillon said.

A joint venture of the PMR and orthopedics departments, the Rehab clinic focusses on rehabilitation issues of the injured sportspersons, both at the physical level under the supervision of a sports physiotherapist and at the mental level under supervision of a clinical psychologist.

Dhillon, an orthopedic surgeon who has earlier remained a medical consultant to the Sri Lankan cricket team, had assisted spin legend Muttiah Muralitharan in clearing his controversial bowling action.

Besides the Rehab Clinic, Dhillon said that PGIMER had also recently started on pilot basis Spine Clinic – Back School, Cerebral Palsy Clinic and the Coronary Artery Bypass Clinic.

"Injuries among sportspersons are common. You will be amazed to know how many of our sportspersons tend to overlook their injuries because of conception that it may put their career at stakes.

"I will tell you a case of top spinner who came to us and after we recommended surgery, all he wanted was to avoid it so that he was able to play for over a year because after that he said he was going to retire," he said.

The doctor pointed out that "hidden depression" in sportspersons including cricketers, can loom large as after an injury, they are faced with the prospect of losing a place in the team and other fears.

"At our clinic, we also take services of clinical psychologists who counsel the sportspersons going through the trauma. Some sportspersons go through sub acute depression where they tend to think why me and what will happen to me as a result of the injury sustained," Dhillon said, adding that their clinic receives a number of Kabbadi players, who sustain shoulder, knee and ligament injuries.

Dhillon said that they will be have specialized documentation, which would be computerised and will help in maintaining records and follow up of the sportspersons in an effort to accelerate the mental and physical rehab.

It will also allow pre-participation evaluation of sportspersons, to check the impending injuries and to try and ensure that these do not disrupt a player's performance.

"PGIMER will try and interact with various sports associations in an attempt to document the problems of their players," Dhillon said.