| Nehra: To be out for five-six months
Calcutta, March 29: Left-arm quick Ashish Nehra, who played a significant role in India’s World Cup 2003 final-reaching campaign, will undergo surgery on his right ankle next month.
Nehra, therefore, is going to be out of action for five-six months. He will miss next month’s tri-series in Bangladesh and the Asia Cup, slated for mid-August in Sri Lanka, but should be fit for the home series against New Zealand.
As of now, Nehra will be operated upon (by Dr Sise Perreira) in Pretoria on April 17.
Confirming this, Team India physio Andrew Leipus told The Telegraph: “If possible, the surgery will be advanced by a couple of days, otherwise April 17 stays.”
Speaking from his Johannesburg residence this afternoon, Leipus added: “Though Nehra severely sprained his left ankle in Pietermaritzburg (versus Namibia), it’s the right one which requires surgery… In fact, he has been troubled by posterior impingement for quite some time.”
Obviously, with back-to-back commitments — early April- mid May 2001 was the last time any India player got a break for over a month — it wasn’t possible for Nehra to be off the circuit for five-six months. A lay-off now, though, shouldn’t impact his career in a big way.
According to Leipus, Nehra (who made his India debut in the 1998-1999 Asian Test Championship) is heading for Pretoria and not Jo’Burg as Dr Perreira is a foot/ankle specialist.
Both Jawagal Srinath (1997) and Anil Kumble (2001), it may be recalled, were operated upon in Jo’Burg by Dr Mark Fergusson, a shoulder specialist.
Significantly, Nehra is going to be the latest in a fairly prominent list of quicks to be operated upon by Dr Perreira — Allan Donald, Shaun Pollock and Chaminda Vaas, highest wickettaker in the just-ended World Cup, have already come under his scalpel. Allrounder Lance Klusener too.
Top guns factor
Meanwhile, as first reported in these columns (March 22), some of the top guns are set to miss the April 11-20 tournament in Bangladesh. Team India, then, won’t fire on all cylinders.
The Board, apparently, hasn’t been formally intimated but it won’t surprise if the overworked Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid make themselves unavailable. Then, there’s the continuing question mark over Jawagal Srinath.
Actually, there’s a bit of a question mark over the tri-series itself as the South Africans haven’t reconfirmed participation after pulling out of Sharjah.
Given the cricketers’ (perfectly understandable) mood, many will be happy if the tournament is deferred/scrapped.