Smith recovery ahead of schedule for return series

February 5th, 2009 - 2:08 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney. Feb 5 (ANI): South African captain Graeme Smith is well on the road to recovery from his elbow and hand injuries and is on track to be fit for the return series against Australia. This could make the kangaroos quest to protect the No.1 Test ranking more difficult.

Proteas coach Mickey Arthur said that the man who defined South Africa’’s history-making, 2-1 series victory in Australia, and earned admiration for his valiant, but unsuccessful effort to save the Sydney Test with two bad arms, was making excellent progress in his effort to lead his team in the much-anticipated sequel.

Smith has received another course of unconventional treatment in his chronically injured elbow, having his own blood injected into the joint, while the knuckle that was broken by a nasty Mitchell Johnson delivery at the SCG has healed, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

“He is fine. He has had his second injection [in the elbow], which is a good thing. The fracture in his hand has mended perfectly, and we are hoping he will be having a hit in about two weeks. It is even better than expected,” Arthur said.

“It still remains to be seen once he starts playing but the good thing is that the fracture has mended perfectly. It is really excellent to have him fit. We weren”t sure how it was all going to come through but at this stage, touch wood, it all seems to be very good.”

Australian selectors will today unveil the 14-man touring party for the three-Test series starting in Johannesburg on February 26, in which any sort of defeat will relinquish the cherished top ranking to the ambitious South Africans. (ANI)

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