Smith to play in Melbourne Test despite injury

December 23rd, 2008 - 7:56 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Dec 23 (IANS) Despite a nagging elbow injury sustained in India, South African cricket captain Graeme Smith will play in the second Test against Australia in Melbourne as his side looks to clinch the three-match series after their historic win over the hosts at Perth.”There is absolutely no doubt that Graeme will play, even though he feels a great deal of pain and discomfort when he bats for a long time,” South African coach Mickey Arthur told the Afrikaans daily Beeld here from Australia.

Smith left earlier than his team-mates for Melbourne to consult a specialist there over an injury to his right elbow which he suffered while playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) earlier this year. The injury kept him out of a one-day series in England in August.

“After the England tour, it was decided that his elbow will be operated on, so that it could get enough rest (before the Australian tour),” Arthur said.

But last week Smith acknowledged experiencing the pain which makes it difficult for him to bat. Despite this, Smith hit a superbly made 108 to lay the foundation for South Africa’s record breaking six-wicket victory over the Australians Sunday.

However, Smith had to receive constant medical attention during his knock from the team physiotherapist, Shane Jabaar. The captain also missed the first practice match against West Australia.

“Graeme and a specialist have worked out a short and long-term strategy about how he will go through the series and the rest of the season,” Arthur said, adding that Smith’s cortisone treatment would be carefully managed.

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