Gaborone — Botswana ace runner, Baboloki Thebe has left for Italy to seek medical attention.
Thebe got injured during the World Championships recently when representing the country in the 4x400 metres relay.
According to the medical report, the athlete has suffered grade two Rectus Femoris and the ultrasound confirmed approximately 1.5-1.7cm tear midway up left rectus femoris.
The ultrasound also revealed some previous scar tissue from an old injury at the distal end of the rectus femoris and it was recommended that Thebe's recovery should focus on the current injury and the injury sustained last year.
Thebe said in an interview that he was happy to be in Milan for medical attention.
He said he was beginning to worry that he might never get back to the track, saying he was never attended by any doctor since returning from London.
"But thanks to my manager, after hearing that I was to receive medical attention, he immediately booked a flight for me to come see specialists.
Furthermore, Thebe said it was important for his injury to be attended to as early as possible given that his off-season was going to be very short, as he has to prepare for the Gold-Coast Commonwealth Games in Australia scheduled for April.
He said next year would also be very busy, looking at the competition's line-up, hence he had to be fit in order to fully prove his mettle.
Botswana Athletics Association, vice president, Kenneth Kikwe said the athlete was injured on national duty, therefore it was their responsibility to make sure that he was given all the necessary medical attention.
He however said he was aware that Thebe's manager took him for medical attention, adding that as BAA they had followed the right procedure with Botswana National Sport Commission for the athlete to be taken to the hospital.
"I must admit, there was a delay, and maybe the manager was also looking at a bigger picture, because being on the track is his means of survival," he said.
Former BAA secretary, Kebaitse Legojane said it was a welcome development that the athlete had finally jetted off to Italy.
"Remember after Poland the boy went to the same doctors who were able to tell he had multiple muscle tear injury which had not healed properly.
They recommended a rehabilitation process to be followed, hence the boy came back a lot better though judging on his potential you would say he was not 100 per cent healed," he said.
He said the medical centre that would be attending Thebe had good specialists in sport injuries and were also in a position to tell when the injury would have healed.
He however said it was a pity that BAA had not followed the injuries post London despite the fact that BNSC had arrangement to treat national team athletes.
"One wonders what will happen to other athletes who need the same medical attention, but cannot afford to pay for the services.
This could cut the athletes life span on track very short," he said. Kebaitse said Boitumelo Masilo was one of the athletes who was injured before the World championships and he eventually dropped out of London team because he never got healed.
"Where is Masilo now? Is he being assisted or he has been left to find his way? Mind you we are talking about an elite athlete." he said.
Furthermore, Kebaitse said he was not sure if going alone would benefit the athlete that much, adding that BAA negligence in addressing his injury prompted his manger to assist.
He said if it were concerted efforts, a medical practitioner would have gone with him to ensure post treatment, monitor and observe him.
"Imagine that he is there alone and one wonders how he will interpret the rehabilitation programme.
How is his coaches' programme going to assist his rehabilitation, what about the diet.
I guess as a country we must move away from this non-specialisation by sporting codes, we need professionals to run the show," he said.
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