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‘Reasonable lay-off’ needed
- Sourav still in pain

Chandigarh: Sourav Ganguly, the regular Team India captain, looks certain not to play the first three tri-series matches. Moreover, there’s this distinct possibility about his missing a few more games.

If India make the final of the tournament, then a total of seven matches will be played. The opening game is in Chennai on October 23.

According to The Telegraph’s sources, Sourav — who underwent a second operation inside five days on his left upper thigh, on Saturday morning — needs “a reasonable lay-off” to recover from the double surgery in the same region.

The sources added that while Sourav’s general condition is better, the pain is often excruciating. Then, the very heavy dose of antibiotics is not contributing to making him feel cheerful.

Board president Jagmohan Dalmiya is due to call on Sourav on Monday and, then, a clearer picture should emerge.

Meanwhile, Hemang Badani, a top contender for replacing Sourav in the XIV for the first three tri-series matches, has furnished a fitness certificate. Badani, it may be recalled, suffered a fracture during the India A-New Zealand game in Rajkot.

The other contenders are Sanjay Bangar, Sridharan Sriram and Rohan Gavaskar.

A Staff Reporter in Calcutta adds: Sourav was given six bottles of saline on Saturday. Officially, he is “free from fever and exhaustion” and “slept well in the night”, but the doctors are of the view that it would be safe to assume Sourav would not be released before Wednesday.

“There is some improvement of inflammation, and the culture report from the wound before Saturday’s surgical procedure shows growth of staphylococcus aureus (a kind of bacteria),” said the doctors. “But he is having necessary antibiotics.”

Doctors were not willing to put an early date to his release, saying the general method was to rest such patient for at least ten days .

Meanwhile, a commando has been posted outside his room. Entry being restricted, very few were allowed in on Saturday. On Sunday, though, relatives and close friends could visit him.

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