The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘Thrilled’ to be home, Sourav thanks doctors
- Team India captain discharged a day earlier than expected

Calcutta: Just the other evening, in a private conversation, Sourav Ganguly wasn’t sure he would be match-fit in time for Team India’s departure for Australia in the third week of November. Yet, on Sunday afternoon, the captain walked out of Belle Vue — a day quicker than expected.

For now, the abscess saga (which took centrestage two days before the Mohali Test) is something of the past.

“It’s thrilling... Nine days ago, when I was operated upon (for the second time), I didn’t expect to be out so soon... The pain, the pus... The restricted movement... Everything combined to make me feel low. However, thanks to my doctors — especially Sukumar Mukherjee and Mrinmoy Nandi — I’m heading home,” Sourav told The Telegraph.

Speaking from his top-of-the-line Mercedes, as he neared his Behala residence, Sourav added: “One keeps reading (negative) reports about the medical fraternity but, believe me, I’m indebted to Mukherjee and Nandi... This morning, for instance, at the (first post-stitches) dressing, I didn’t feel any pain nor was pus visible. Absolutely remarkable, going by what I’d gone through...”

Sourav would have spent another day in the nursing home had he either experienced pain or the stitches showed traces of pus.

On reaching home, he was welcomed by daughter Sana — who will celebrate her second birthday early next month — in Dona’s arms and brother Snehashish and his family. Later, Sourav remarked: “It was quite an unusual homecoming... The thrill was different.”

Looking back, Sourav said he was on the verge of “throwing up” when he saw the wound (on the left upper thigh) before it came under the scalpel for the second time (after Mohali), on October 18. “There was a big hole, or, as (physio) Andrew Leipus described — a crater... That sight itself made me feel worse... Then, even after the surgery here, the dressings were done under anaesthesia. Given that I’d never before been hospitalised, it was tough.”

Predictably, the focus now is on complete recovery and rehab. For starters, the first dressing (at home) will be done on Tuesday. “The stitches will be cut in two stages and, if all goes well, I should resume training in six days... Next Saturday, I suppose,” Sourav pointed out.

While the doctors, apparently, are aiming to get him fit for the November 6 tri-series game in Cuttack (against New Zealand), Sourav is “hopeful” of making himself available for the last two league matches — on November 12 in Bangalore (versus Australia) and November 15 in Hyderabad (against New Zealand).

Fortunately, Sourav is a left-hander and, so, the risk of being ‘targeted’ by quicks isn’t a factor. But, then, diving to his natural side could cause problems initially. Mental toughness, therefore, will come into play in a big way.

Sourav, of course, will be backing himself.

Incidentally, trainer Gregory King’s ‘restrictions’ have been put on hold for the time being. After all, today, Sourav requires a need-based diet. Once fit, he will be back to chicken preparations with only two drops of oil and sandwiches without butter...

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