Bista needs operation, says doctor

KATHMANDU: Taekwondo ace Deepak Bista, who became the first player to win four consecutive gold medals in the South Asian Games history, has been adviced to undergo his left knee operation if he wanted to carry on with the competitive sports.

Doctors said his Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) has been broken and if his knee is not operated, he would not be able to take part in any events. Dr Deepak Mahara suggested the player to undergo operation when the star visited HAMS Hospital on Monday.

"The ligament that supports his knee, ACL, is broken. If he wants to carry on with the sport, there is no other option than to undergo operation as soon as possible," Dr Mahara told The Himalayan Times. Bista had undergone an operation on his right knee in Bangkok after he won his second gold medal in the ninth South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in Islamabad in 2004. After almost eight months of complete rest, he went on to win his third gold at the 10th SA Games in Colombo in 2006, and joined the legendary marathon runner Baikuntha Manandhar's feat of winning three consecutive regional meet gold medals.

The 33-year old was also suggested not to compete in the 11th SA Games in Dhaka. But against all odds, the determined player unfurled the national flag winning the historic fourth gold. "It is really amazing that he managed to play so well despite a broken ligament. An ordinary person will have nothing than to take a prolonged rest under these circumstances," said Dr Mahara.

Dr Mahara has recommended Deepak to undergo operation in foreign country since there is no intensive physiotherapy programme available for a sportsperson like him in Nepal. "Deepak (Bista) can be operated in Nepal but since he is involved in a competitive sport, we can't assure him of a perfect rehabilitation programme after the operation from where he can make a comeback," added Dr Mahara.

Bista, however, wants the country to take care of all the expenses. "I succeeded to win gold for my country even when my legs didn't support me. It's now the government’s job to pay back for my hard work," said the Beijing Olympian, who also has two Asian Games bronze medal under his belt. "I have no choice than to wait for the government to make all the necessary arrangements for my treatment," said Bista.