Fitness certificate issued to Ganguly

Published: Tuesday, April 6, 2004, 16:51 [IST]
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Kolkata:India's captain Sourav Ganguly was on Tuesday issued a fitness certificate by his doctor who said that the left-handed batsman had now fullyrecovered from the lower back injury.

Ganguly, who missed the first two Tests of the ongoing series against Pakistan after hurting his back while fielding in the fifth and final One-dayer on March 24 at Lahore is now all set to leave the city on Wednesday to join his team.

"I had a talk with Ganguly this morning. He says he is 100 per cent okay. A physio who saw him also says he is completely fit. So I feel that he is now physically fit," Orthopaedic Specialist Dr Kalyan Mukherjee, who had beentreating Ganguly since the latter's return to the city midway into the tour, said in Kolkata.

Mukherjee said that he had signed the fitness certificate handed it over to the cricketers' father Chandi Ganguly.

Ganguly had another workout at the gymnasium at his residence and also ran 12 laps in nearby ground on Tuesday.

"The pain has completely vanished. The stiffness has gone. Mobility is perfect. He is now raring to go and put up a splendid performance in the third Test at Rawalpindi beginning on April 13," Mukherjee said.

As things stand now, Mukherjee is set to accompany Ganguly upto New Delhi as per request from the cricketer and his family.

"As an orthopaedic and a sports scientist I feel that he is now medically okay. As for the physical part, the local physio is also satisfied," Mukherjee said.

"I believe my certificate would now be forwarded to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) which will inform Team India physio Andrew Leipus," Mukherjee added.

Meanwhile, Ganguly says that middle order batsman Yuvraj Singh, who scored a century in the second Test against Pakistan in Lahore will be playing the third Test match starting in Rawalpindi on April 13.

" Yuvraj is going to be there in the third Test match despite allegations about (V V S) Laxman and him not performing," Ganguly told Sahara Samay television channel, according to a release issued by the channel.

Asked how he intended to adjust Yuvraj, Ganguly said, "I am extremely happy with Yuvraj's performance. Four years back when he was selected, (selector) Ashok Malhotra said that Yuvraj is a very good player but I did not know him then. On seeing him play, I knew that he would be a long-term player for India. It is his bad luck that he is not playing as a middle order batsman but his performance was great in this Test (in Lahore)."

The captain, according to the press release, said, "you have to back your players properly so that start performing well. For example, when I told everybody that (Virender) Sehwag is going to open in Australia, nobody was in favour of this decision as Sehwag cannot play short balls.But it is the same Sehwag who scored 195 in Australia against Brett Lee and Jason Gilllepsie's bowling and who has now scored a triple century against Pakistan," he said.

Ganguly said first two hours on the second day of the second Test against Pakistan on Tuesday "are very important" for the fast bowlers. "Irfan is getting good swing. We have expectations from Irfan and (Anil) Kumble. Inzamam is the most crucial wicket."

Replying to a question, Ganguly, recovering from a back injury, said he was feeling fine and would definitely make it to Pakistan on April 7 for the third Test.

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