Calcutta: Right through Sachin Tendulkar's tennis elbow problem, doctors weren't able to put a time-frame on his recovery. Last week, though, the present generation's Little Master made a comeback in the Nagpur Test against Australia.
Now, we are likely to experience the same anxiety over regular Team India captain Sourav Ganguly. He didn't play in Nagpur and won't be playing the (fourth and final) Mumbai Test too.
'Sourav has a muscular injury in the right inner thigh and the end to such problems can't be predicted. It would have been different had the injury been a tear or something affecting the bone,' Dr Anant Joshi, the Board's high-profile consultant, told The Telegraph late on Monday evening.
Talking from Mumbai, shortly after returning from a brief holiday in Sikkim, he added: 'Actually, I was to have examined Sourav at the airport here, but it seems he cleared security before my wife and I were able to collect our luggage...
'However, Sourav did consult an associate of mine (orthopaedic surgeon Satish Modi, who is connected with Jaslok) earlier in the day, and he has already briefed me.'
Based on his associate's diagnosis, Dr Joshi feels 'rest' is the best prescription: 'Muscular injuries require time and, usually, a lay-off guarantees recovery... Thankfully, Sourav didn't play in Nagpur, otherwise... So, rest and anti-inflammatory medication will see Sourav out of this injury.'
According to Dr Joshi, he is going to have a one-on-one with physio Andrew Leipus to finalise the medication which should commence from Tuesday itself.
Meanwhile, speaking exclusively, Leipus said it will now entirely be Sourav's call. 'As I see it, he's going to wake up one morning feeling much better... From then on, complete recovery will be a matter of time...'
The injury, by the way, surfaced on the very first day of this four-Test series (October 6, Bangalore).
Given that Sourav has returned home, Leipus is next going to see him only when the players assemble in Calcutta for the November 13 ODI versus Pakistan.
As of now, well, there's a question mark over Sourav's availability.