Stewart to undergo injury-rectifying surgery

Published: Sunday, October 14, 2001, 20:59 [IST]
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London: England wicket-keeper Alec Stewart said on Saturday he is to have an operation on his elbows to try to correct a long-standing injury that has been affecting his cricket for the last 18 months.
 In a statement released through his county Surrey in London on Saturday, Stewart said, "The problem is a form of chronic tennis elbow which is affecting both my arms. For the last 18 months I have only been able to play cricket thanks to a course of injections and intense physiotherapy. Now I want to try and get it sorted out." Stewart will have the operation at the end of the month and will then have both arms in plaster for two weeks before undergoing a course of rehabilitation. Back in August, Stewart, 38, made himself unavailable for England's forthcoming tour of India saying he was afraid that corruption allegations made against him by bookmaker Mukesh Gupta relating to the 1992-93 tour, but subsequently rejected earlier this year by Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU), would be given a fresh airing. He also said that he wanted to spend some more time with his family after a decade of continuous England duty at home and abroad. The England management has been aware of Stewart's elbow problems and he came close to giving up the gloves during a Test on England's tour of Pakistan last year. But Stewart's decision, announced in his 'Sunday Times' newspaper column, where the full extent of his elbow difficulties was not revealed, provoked a strong reaction from England's chairman of selectors David Graveney. He warned the Surrey stalwart and Yorkshire fast bowler Darren Gough, another India absentee, that, "It would set a dangerous precedent to allow players to pick and choose which elements of a winter tour they are prepared to undertake." Consequently both players were told that if they refused to play Test cricket in India they would not be selected for the second half of England's winter Test programme in New Zealand.

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