Confident Dravid to play Test series

Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2001, 3:14 [IST]
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Durban: Indian vice-captain Rahul Dravid on Wednesday brushed aside speculations on his shoulder injury and said he would play in the Test series against South Africa starting in Durban on Saturday.

"I am completely focused on the coming three-Test series and ready to perform to the best of my ability," Dravid said. "I can be asked to throw from any part of the ground," he asserted. Dravid was on Tuesday diagnosed to have a rupture in his shoulder cartilege - an injury he was said to have been carrying for the last four years - and his participation in the Test series came under doubt. Dr Joe de Beer, a shoulder specialist whom Dravid consulted in Cape Town, had said the stylish batsman could play in the Test matches but ran the risk of aggravating his injury further. In any case, Dravid should field only in close in positions as throwing from the boundary would be detrimental to his injury, the doctor had maintained. Team manager M K Bhargava on Wednesday sought to downplay the injury, saying it was normal with anyone involved in a 'throwing sport'. "Dravid is fit to participate in all future Indian cricket fixtures," Bhargava said in a statement. "Rahul has been complaining of a niggle in his right shoulder interminably for four years. His obvious discomfort, however, has not prevented him from participating and performing in international cricket. Earlier investigations did not reveal any pathology," Bhargava said. "This investigation has revealed a legend in labrum glenohumeral joint. However, his rotator cuff was found to be completely normal. This pathology is consistent with someone involved in a throwing sport," Bhargava said. "In the event the pathology degenerates in future, surgical management may become necessary. His condition would be closely monitored," he said. Dravid himself said he was not considering any surgery at this stage and would do throwing exercises as prescribed by the doctor. "Only if it degenerates in future, we would say anything about surgery," Dravid said. Team physio Andrew Leipus said he was aware of the 'niggle' but it was never serious during the past four years. "It was only a niggle and you don't make reports to the Board on any niggle a cricketer develops," Leipus said replying to questions whether he had informed BCCI about Dravid's injury.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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