ESPNcricinfo understands, as things stand, Iyer is certain to miss at least the first ODI. He complained of swelling in his lower back during the Ahmedabad Test after having spent nearly two full days on the field.
“Poor guy. It just was such an unfortunate incident,” Rohit said after India’s 2-1 series win in Ahmedabad. “He had to wait all day [second day] to bat and then when the day got over, the issue he had with his back, recurred. He was sent to the hospital to take scans. I don’t know the exact report of the scans, but he does not seem to be doing that well.”
Then too, Iyer had swelling in his lower back for which he was given an injection at the NCA. His rehabilitation at the time took longer than expected, with Iyer missing the home ODIs against New Zealand as well as the first Border-Gavaskar Trophy Test in Nagpur last month.
The flaring up of Iyer’s back condition is also likely to concern the Kolkata Knight Riders, the franchise he is supposed to be leading at IPL 2023. He was signed at the mega auction in February last year, after being released by Delhi Capitals, where he had lost his captaincy to Rishabh Pant after a shoulder injury in March 2021 had ruled him out of the first part of the IPL that year.
Iyer’s absence could pave way for the uncapped Madhya Pradesh batter Rajat Patidar in the ODI squad. Patidar has completed his fitness assessment following a two-week long physical conditioning at the NCA.