The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Muscle tear, not just soreness
- Only a miracle will let Kumble play in finals

Calcutta: Anil Kumble’s initial diagnosis — a sore bowling (right) shoulder — has proved to be grossly incorrect. In fact, according to manager Shivlal Yadav, the leg-spinner has suffered a “muscle tear”.

In the immediate context, that means Kumble will have a longer lay-off — he hasn’t played after the first four tri-series matches — but there could be a bigger worry if even “rest” doesn’t provide relief.

“We’ve got to wait and watch — and, be hopeful of an early return,” Yadav told The Telegraph when contacted in Perth on Friday evening. Given the current mood, however, it will be a miracle if Kumble is available for the finals.

PTI adds from Perth: Team physio Andrew Leipus, in his medical jargon, though, underplayed Kumble’s fitness concern, but manager Yadav was cautious about the leggie’s participation in the finals.

Leipus expressed horror at the mention of “surgery” on Kumble’s famous shoulder but said: “He is not going to play for now.”

Leipus said Kumble’s right shoulder would prevent him from throwing in the field though he was absolutely fine and has no problem in bowling. “He is not going to play for now. Bowling would not be a problem but he cannot throw at the moment and you can’t really hide it in one-day cricket.”

Leipus said a scan had been done on Kumble which showed “small strain” in rotator cuff as well as “chronic mild” soreness in the same area, “which is because of the bowling he has done through the summer and the cuff has been strained through the increased amount of throwing in one-day cricket.”

Leipus said Kumble hurt himself and was feeling weak after the Brisbane match against Australia on January 18. “He did knock himself down in the shoulder, he was complaining of pain and weakness after that Brisbane match. To settle it down nicely now, he needs a bit of rest and treatment and rehab. He would not let anyone down. So we are just playing it day by day — he is pain free at the moment.”

Kumble did take part in the nets Friday at WACA and though he did not bowl, he participated in the throwing session at stumps, preferring to hurl his returns underarm so as not to hurt his shoulder.

Also missing from the nets was vice-captain Rahul Dravid, but it was not because of any fitness issue. Coach John Wright said Dravid said he tends to get dehydrated after he plays long innings and he was seeing a specialist in Perth who would advise him the right “fluids” to keep him going through long hours at crease.

Sachin Tendulkar batted at the nets, and so did Virender Sehwag, as the two openers sought to shake off the rustiness of recent days which they have spent on bench because of ankle and shoulder injuries, respectively.

Sachin squared up to Laxmipathy Balaji in the early part of his nets before regaining his poise and Sehwag too seemed intent on just stroking a few balls along the ground. The little master closed his session by knocking a few around without a helmet on his head — a rare sight for the great man never lifts a bat without a headgear in place.

Bruce Reid joined the Indians at the nets to resume his job of bowling coach and concentrated a great deal on Balaji and Amit Bhandari, even asking the computer analyst to videotape their action for remedial action.

Captain Sourav Ganguly had an extended batting session for himself, testing himself out against short-pitched deliveries on concrete in search for that batting form which produced that marvellous hundred at the Gabba in the first Test.

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