I'm committed to rehab, hope to be WC ready: Warne

Published: Thursday, December 26, 2002, 18:32 [IST]
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Melbourne: Shane Warne says he is happy with his progress from a shoulder operation in his bid to play in next February's cricket World Cup in South Africa.

The champion Australian leg spinner dislocated his right bowling shoulder when he dived for a ball during a One-day match against England at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on December 15. "When I saw Errol Alcott (team physio) on Christmas Eve, he was very happy with my movement and was very happy with my progress a week after an operation," Warne said in a television interview here on Thursday. "If I keep improving like that then my chances will be good.

It all comes down to confidence." The Australian selectors will pick Warne in the final Cup squad of 15 on December 31, having confirmed they can replace him even during the tournament if his shoulder does not heal. Warne is on a four-to-six-week timetable to return to the top level if he is to play in the Cup. "It's too early to say that (to give a percentage on his chances)," Warne said. "The best thing I can do is say to everyone who has supported me so far is just to make sure I give myself every chance.

"To keep my fitness up, to keep my shoulder work going with Errol and just do whatever I can, and whatever it takes it I will do that and if that means I'm not right for the World Cup then so be it. "I'm just going to give it my best shot, I don't know if that's a 50-50 chance or whatever. "At this stage, all I know is that I'm committed to the rehab, I'm committed to what I have to do in the next four to six weeks and hopefully I'll be on that plane to the World Cup." The World Cup is scheduled to start on February 9 in South Africa. Australia's first match in the tournament is against Pakistan in Johannesburg two days later.

Warne needed reconstruction surgery on his right shoulder in 1998, forcing him out of the first four Tests of the 1998-99 home Ashes series against England. The wrist spinner is Test cricket's second-highest wicket taker with 491 wickets, behind West Indian Courtney Walsh. The Australian Cricket Board presented Warne with a framed baggy green cap in a glass case during the tea interval at the fourth Ashes Test against England on Thursday. It marked his 100th Test, which he played against South Africa in Cape Town last March.

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