Can Sachin regain the Midas touch with his willow?

Published: Saturday, July 2, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Kolkata:Will batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar return to his vintage best once he recovers from his elbow problem that necessitated a surgery? Or will he be only a pale shadow of the Tendulkar of yore?

As the country's innumerable cricket fans debate the issue, waiting with bated breath for the Mumbaikar to come back to the 22-yard strip, a question mark hangs over how Tendulkar would fare in the coming days with the Board of Control for Cricket in India's (BCCI) chief medical consultant saying that the degree of recovery from the 'tennis elbow' varied from sportsman to sportsman.

"It is a lingering problem. Some players make very good recovery, but not everyone. The recovery varies from person to person," Dr Anant Joshi said here.

Joshi, a noted orthopaedic, however, said that he was not in a position to comment specifically on how Tendulkar would fare as he had not seen him of late.

"He went to UK and there he underwent the surgery. I will see him only after he returns and I also go back to Mumbai," said Joshi, who was on a visit to the city to conduct some surgeries.

But he said that the surgery on Tendulkar was absolutely necessary as all other modes of treatment had failed to produce the desired results.

"I have been told that he is recovering well after surgery," he said.

The 32-year-old batsman was operated upon on May 23 by orthopaedic surgeon Andrew Wallace and would be out of action for four months.

Asked about the frequent injuries to Indian cricketers, Joshi said, "Its a phenomenon common to cricketers from across the world.

"Nowadays, players break down more often because of the frequency of matches as also the intensity of the games, considering the fierce competition," he said.

Joshi said the problem was more acute for fast bowlers, as they badly needed rest from time to time to relax and recoup from their stressful routine.

"But in India, they don't get the break to rest," he said.

In this regard, Joshi urged the BCCI to unfold a rotation policy for the fast bowlers.

"There is need for such a policy to ensure adequate rest for bowlers. And for that, there is need for good back-up support," the famous surgeon said.

To a query, Joshi said that he did not know whether pacer Irfan Pathan had played hiding any injury in the last season.

"The best person to decide this is the physio. But if Pathan has done it, he has not done the right thing," he said.

"However, I think had he tried any such thing, then he could not have evaded the physio (John Gloster). With so many training camps, net sessions, it is difficult for a player to fool the physio," Joshi added.

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