Recovering Murali to miss first half of triangular series

Published: Wednesday, November 27, 2002, 22:49 [IST]
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Melbourne: Sri Lankan off spinner Muthiah Muralitharan will miss the first half of this summer's triangular One-day series, according to medical officials.

Muralitharan underwent a hernia operation on Tuesday and will be out of action until the New Year, ruling him out of Sri Lankans' first four One-day matches of the series against Australia and England. But the 30-year-old is expected to be available for the series' second leg, starting on January 7, and the finals should Sri Lanka progress. Melbourne surgeon Peter Nottle, who operated on the bowler, said most hernia patients took between three and six weeks to "get back to work or full activity". Quintus de Zylva, an Australia-based Sri Lankan team doctor, said it would be three weeks before Muralitharan trained. "He's recovering OK," de Zylva said on Wednesday. "But he's unlikely to be fit for competitive cricket until in the New Year." It was initially understood Muralitharan underwent the operation as a precautionary measure ahead of next year's World Cup in South Africa. But de Zylva said the operation would ensure the brilliant off spinner wouldn't be sidelined for a longer spell in the future. "It was important for it to be fixed, with the amount of physical stress they put themselves through, rather than have an emergency procedure later," he said. Muralitharan is recovering here and is yet to decide between returning home or awaiting his team mates' arrival. Sri Lanka will arrive on December 11, in time for its first tri-series clash against England in Brisbane six days later.

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