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Sachin to undergo surgery on left hand
Faisal Shariff in Mumbai | April 15, 2003 18:35 IST
Sachin Tendulkar will go under the surgeon's knife later this month.
The ring finger of the little master's left hand is the latest in a growing list of injured body parts.
Tendulkar will travel to the United States on April 26 for the surgery and stay there for four weeks.
According to Amrit Mathur, media manager of the Indian cricket team, the injury was bothering Tendulkar for a long time, even before the World Cup. That was why he skipped the current triangular TVS Cup tournament in Bangladesh.
"When Sachin hurt his hand, it went unnoticed," Mathur said. "The minor chipped bone, however, played up every time the ball hit the hand. We consulted experts in South Africa during the World Cup and they said surgery and lots of rest were the only option."
But Tendulkar endured the pain and played through the World Cup with the chipped finger, sometimes using painkillers.
The injury did not, however, impede his performance and he ended the tournament as the leading run-scorer with 673 runs.
The Indian team's next international fixture will only take place in October when the home series against New Zealand begins. This will give Tendulkar enough time to recover.
"The recovery period will take about 3-4 weeks," Mathur said, "and also require Sachin to undergo some physiotherapy and rehabilitation. He should be all right by the time the next series gets underway."
Vice-captain Rahul Dravid, offspinner Harbhajan Singh, left-arm fast bowlers Ashish Nehra and Zaheer Khan, and skipper Sourav Ganguly are also injured.
While Dravid is nursing a finger injury sustained in South Africa during the World Cup, Nehra is scheduled to undergo knee surgery next week in South Africa and is likely to be out of action for three months.
Last Sunday, Khan limped off the ground with a hamstring injury during the game against South Africa while Ganguly has finally decided to attend to his niggling back injury.
Mathur said Harbhajan Singh also played through the World Cup with a lot of pain. "Harbhajan's right hand needs rest," he said. "His bowling hand hurts each time he grips the ball. The webbing between the index and the middle fingers is stretched and causes pain."
Defending the selection of Ganguly and Singh for the TVS Cup in spite of their injuries, the media manager said: "No one wants to endanger the players' fitness. Every team has players less than 100 per cent fit. The Indian team is not alone."
But the team is certainly alone in the kind of non-stop cricket it has had to play over the last one year, thanks to the Board of Control for Cricket in India.