Injured Gough ruled out of India series, ICC Trophy
Published: Friday, August 9, 2002, 23:16 [IST]
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Nottingham: England fast bowler Darren Gough was on Friday ruled out of the remainder of the home Test series against India and September's International Cricket Council (ICC) Champions Trophy One-day tournament in Sri Lanka. Yorkshire quick Gough has been struggling with a persistent knee problem, which has troubled him ever since he injured himself during England's final One-day International in New Zealand in March this year. In a statement, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said the 31-year-old paceman was set for a third operation on his knee this season, which would take place later on Friday. "Gough, who saw a specialist in Sheffield earlier this week, is still experiencing swelling and discomfort in the knee following a two week lay-off from cricket," the statement said. "He will undergo keyhole surgery (arthroscopy) later on Friday before beginning a period of rest and rehabilitation prior to England's Ashes campaign in Australia," it added. "The England selectors will name a replacement for Gough in the ICC Champions Trophy squad by August 15." Gough said, "This is a set-back for me and it's going to be very disappointing to miss so much cricket. But I know that I can come back from this and at least I have eleven weeks to concentrate on getting myself ready to have one last crack at the Australians in the winter." England coach Duncan Fletcher added, "It's very frustrating to lose Darren for such a long period as he is a terrific competitor and a great influence in the dressing room. "The medical experts have told us that Darren has an ongoing knee complaint and that, in common with other professional sportsmen who have experienced similar problems, surgery is not guaranteed to completely cure it. "At this stage, our medical advice is that a further operation to clean out the knee joint is the best option for Darren if he is to have a realistic chance of playing in the Ashes this winter." England is currently involved in the second Test of a four-match series against India at Trent Bridge, Nottingham. Gough has not played Test cricket in England this year, his only first-class appearance limited to a county championship match against Lancashire, although he did feature during the triangular One-day series. England is due to leave for Australia in October and from there it will go on to the World Cup in South Africa. Gough's comeback hopes will depend not just on his own fitness, however, but the health and form of England pace bowling rivals such as Alex Tudor and Simon Jones, both of whom have missed Tests this season due to injury.