The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Harbhajan may be out for 5 months
- Groin strain to keep Gillespie out of third Test

Hobart: Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh, who underwent surgery on his right index finger on Friday morning, is likely to be away from cricket for five months. Harbhajan, therefore, is going to miss India’s tour of Pakistan (from end-February).

“It’s difficult putting a date on when exactly he will resume bowling but, as of now, it does seem he will be out for five months,” informed Team India physio Andrew Leipus, who has been with Harbhajan in Melbourne for the past three days.

Speaking to The Telegraph late on Friday, he added: “The surgery took about half-an-hour... In simple terms, it’s a ligament repair.” Dr Greg Hoy, a top-bracket specialist, did the needful and Harbhajan was back in his hotel after a few hours.

Leipus, by the way, will be coming here on Saturday morning. A decision on the off-spinner’s departure for home should be taken on Monday, when Sourav Ganguly and Co. reach Melbourne ahead of the third Test.

Though in “some pain” Harbhajan is otherwise okay. “Ab thoda bahut dard to rahe ga... Hopefully, this surgery will extend my career,” he remarked, talking exclusively.

Meanwhile, as expected, Jason Gillespie has been ruled out of the Melbourne Test, beginning on December 26. According to a Cricket Australia (CA) announcement, physio Errol Alcott has thought it “prudent” that the quick be rested.

The injury-prone Gillespie, it may be recalled, strained his right groin on the last day of the Adelaide Test. In time, he will be “assessed” to determine his fitness for the fourth and final Test, in Sydney, from January 2.

Incidentally, the CA announcement quoted Gillespie as saying: “I knew I had a chance of not playing but, once you find out you won’t play, then it hits you harder... I won’t be out on the field with the lads (in Melbourne), but I’ll probably travel down there for treatment and be around at the ground each day...”

In the short-term, it appears Gillespie will only be too happy being cheerleader.

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