KARACHI, Pakistan — Former cricket legend turned politician Imran Khan fractured three vertebrae when he fell at a political rally in Lahore Tuesday.
Khan, whose Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party is a leading contender in this week's national elections, fell about 5 meters from a forklift Tuesday that was raising him and three guards to stage at a rally, AP reported.
His doctor, Faisal Sultan, said he also cracked a rib and cut his head.
Television footage showed the dazed leader being taken to hospital with blood on his head, the London Telegraph reported.
After being treated and speaking from his hostipal bed, Khan said: "I have fought for Pakistan all my life, I have done whatever I could do. Now I want you to take responsibility. If you want to change your fate then you have to take responsibility."
While his party is not expected to win the election, it could be a major partner in a coalition government.
"What was really notable about the aftermath of Imran Khan's fall is that there was this unified groundswell of sympathy for him," reports GlobalPost's Mariya Karimjee in Karachi. "Political ads that [had] bashed him were pulled from the air," and one of his rivals, Nawaz Sharif, suspended his campaign as a show of sympathy.
Hospital spokesman Khawaja Nazir said Khan's condition was not serious and he would make a full recovery.
Karimjee says the injury is unlikely to hamper his campaign.
"People are comparing this injury to a shoulder injury that Khan had in 1992," Karimjee says, "when he successfully led the Pakistani cricket team to victory a the World Cup."
Mariya Karimjee contributed reporting from Karachi, Pakistan.
Here is a video of his fall:
Imran falls off stage at Lahore rally from Dawn.com on Vimeo.