Smith to miss ODI series to undergo elbow surgery

January 2nd, 2009 - 4:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Jan 2 (IANS) South African captain Graeme Smith will miss the one-day series against Australia and New Zealand and undergo a surgery to cure his tennis elbow.Smith will cut short his tour after the third and final Test against Australia starting here Saturday to be fit in time for the home series against Australia.

Smith has battled pain in his right elbow for almost a year. He will have blood taken from his arm, then injected into the torn tendon in an attempt to help it repair.

The procedure has been recommended by Melbourne-based specialist Greg Hoy and, if a suitable doctor can be found, will be performed for the first time in South Africa.

Proteas coach Mickey Arthur rated Smith a strong chance of playing the third Test, although the captain’s outing in the SCG nets gave little cause for optimism. Smith grimaced repeatedly as he defensively played at a dozen throw-downs before leaving the practice facility, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

“He’s four or five cortisone injections down the line now,” Arthur said. “He’s been getting through on cortisone ever since Edgbaston, which is where it really flared up. He goes through a huge amount of pain when he bats, and it always seems to get worse when he gets to 40 or 50,” Arthur said.

“We’re still waiting to try and get the injection done in South Africa. These blood injections haven’t been used in South Africa before. We need to find a guy in South Africa who can do it. This is going to be our last throw of the dice in trying to get him right. He will then have a six-week lay-off, which will mean having a week of domestic cricket before the first Test match, which is why it’s so crucial that he gets it done as soon as he can after Sydney.”

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