'His spine is intact': Full recovery expected but fall takes cricketer turned politician Imran Khan off Pakistan election trail

Contrary to initial reports politician has not fractured his skull

Lahore

Imran Khan, the sportsman turned politician who has rocked Pakistan’s political scene, is expected to make a full recovery following a fall that left him with with fractured vertebrae and a cracked rib.

Doctors said the 60-year-old Mr Khan had required a total of 15 stitches after suffering a gashes to his head and treatment for three fractured vertebrae – one near the neck and the other two near the middle of his back. Yet they said that contrary to some initial reports, the politician had not fractured his skull.

“The important thing is that the spinal canal is intact and Mr Khan is in full control of his limbs and his body functions,” Shaukat Sultan, director of the Shaukat Khanum Memorial hospital in Lahore, told reporters, according to the Associated Press.

“We are very confident that all these fractures will heal with time and will heal completely and allow him to be fully, completely functional and fit as he always is.”

Mr Khan was injured on Tuesday evening as he fell from a forklift that was raising him onto the main platform at an election rally in Lahore. Three security guards also climbed onto the lift with Mr Khan and it then fell over, the former sportsmen tumbling around 15ft to the floor.

Television footage showed a dazed and bloodied Mr Khan being carried away from the scene, though he later gave an emotional television interview from his hospital bed in which he urged people to make sure they voted in Saturday’s polls. “I have done whatever I could do,” he said. “Now you have to decide whether you want to make a new Pakistan.”

In the weeks ahead of polling day, Mr Khan had followed a punishing schedule as he criss-crossed the country to lead the challenge against Pakistan’s established political parties. “They have been holding these back to back rallies and the only way to do it is to rush from one spot to another,” said Wajahat S Khan, a leading Pakistani journalist who was present when Mr Khan fell. “It’s fun and its frenetic, but the downside is that this sort of thing can happen.”

Doctors said that Mr Khan will require complete bed rest and minimum movement for between three to six weeks. This means his ability to carry on campaigning will be very limited, though there are suggestions he could still address some rallies – including a major, final event planned for Islamabad on Thursday night – by video-link.

The injury to Mr Khan resulted in a outpouring of emotions from his followers as well as messages of support from his rivals. Nawaz Sharif, the presumed front-runner, cancelled a rally he had scheduled for Wednesday evening. There is speculation that Mr Khan, who had won much support from Pakistan’s young and middle-class, could secure extra votes following his tumble.

Meanwhile, two of the guards who fell with Mr Khan have been treated for their injuries and discharged while the third is still in the hospital and is scheduled to have an operation for an injured leg, said Mr Sultan.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Voices
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Director

£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...

Recruitment Genius: Medico-Legal Assistant

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...

Ashdown Group: (PHP / Python) - Global Media firm

£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...

The Jenrick Group: Quality Inspector

£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas