The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Sachin appears confident: Leipus
- With Nagpur Test in mind, maestro's fitness test is expected to be on Saturday

Calcutta: Sachin Tendulkar will, in all probability, undergo a fitness test on Saturday ' the wire agency report (published in these columns) which spoke of that being done on Wednesday itself was incorrect.

'Absolutely nothing was planned for the day' I don't know how that piece of 'news' got around,' Team India physio Andrew Leipus told The Telegraph when contacted in Mumbai.

Besides Sachin himself, Leipus is going to have the biggest say on when the maestro, off cricket for two months owing to a tennis elbow, should return ' that too straightaway at the highest level versus Australia.

'The Board wants a decision by Sunday and, so, Sachin will probably go through the fitness test a day earlier (in Mumbai),' Leipus informed.

If Sachin clears that, he's going to be made the XVth Team India member for the third Test, in Nagpur, from October 26.

Sourav Ganguly and Co., by the way, trail 0-1.

'I intend meeting Sachin tomorrow' The good thing is that he sounded upbeat when we talked on the phone today' Yes, he appears confident of being able to make it (in Nagpur),' Leipus remarked.

Sachin wasn't available for a comment ' he was sweating it out at a gym ' when we called his residence on Wednesday evening. Wife Anjali, though, said he's 'definitely much better.'

Significantly, Sachin had two sessions of nets (again at Bandra's MIG Club) in the morning. One understands he batted for 15 minutes each time.

According to Leipus, Sachin has 'gradually' begun to use his regular bat.

'Frankly, for me, the weight of the bat isn't an issue and Sachin will use the one he's most comfortable with' In the rehab stage, one looks to slowly overloading the injured tissues/muscles' That has started,' he pointed out.

Leipus signed off saying: 'I know there's lots of interest and speculation, but Sachin has had an injury which takes time to heal' We're going to be better placed in the next 48 hours about when he can return to Team India'

Fingers, therefore, must remain crossed for a while longer.

Pathan's comeback

Meanwhile, spearhead Irfan Pathan, who suffered a right side strain in the second Test (Chennai), should be fit for Mumbai ' venue of the fourth and final one from November 3.

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