Pacer Arvind out for four weeks

Pacer Arvind out for four weeks

S Arvind

Already without their pace spearheads R Vinay Kumar and A Mithun, both away in Australia with the Indian Test team, Karnataka will also have to make do without the services of the third vital cog in the pace bowling wheel for at least the next four weeks after S Arvind was ruled out with a sore right knee.

Arvind had injured the knee while fielding on Wednesday, and an MRI scan revealed bone damage that will need up to four weeks to recover fully from. The 27-year-old is on anti-inflammatory drugs to bring down the swelling and is undergoing rehab – why he came out to bat on Thursday defies logic – but will definitely miss next week’s game against Uttar Pradesh in Shimoga as well as the quarterfinal slated for January 2.

Arvind had undergone an arthroscopic surgery on the same knee three years back for ligament damage, and that contributed ‘no more than 20 percent’ to the current injury, physio Shravan said.

There was better news on two other fronts. Stuart Binny, who didn’t take the field during the Punjab second innings with a strained left quadriceps, should pull up in time for the Shimoga game, and might even bowl on the morrow. The injury was a fall-out of the number of overs – 33.3 – he had to bowl against Orissa last week when Arvind was injured during the first innings and SL Akshay in the second.

C M Gautam too should be fine by the morrow after sustaining bruising to the side of his left foot twice during the Punjab second innings off deliveries from NC Aiyappa and KP Appanna that kept low. Gautam left the field after the second drinks session of the day, ceding the wicket-keeping gloves to Robin Uthappa.

There was encouraging news on Akshay, who picked up a hamstring injury in Bhubaneswar. His progress is along expected lines and he is a 50-50 bet right now to play against Uttar Pradesh from next Wednesday, his availability to be decided after a fitness test a couple of days later.

Middle-order batsman Manish Pandey is also well on course to be ready in time for the quarterfinal. Pandey underwent hernia surgery after the Mumbai game last month but has already begun light work-outs at the gym, and should be able to play in the knockout game in the first week of the New Year.

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