Bangladesh news December 22, 2010

Mortaza injures his knee again

ESPNcricinfo staff

In a severe blow for Bangladesh with the World Cup less than two months away, fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza has injured his right knee again while batting for his club Abahani in a Dhaka Premier Division League match. The final report of an MRI scan performed on Tuesday confirmed that there has been a near complete tear of the reconstructed anterior cruciate ligament graft on his right knee.

The provisional report following the scan had suggested just a partial tear of the reconstructed ligament of Mortaza's knee, according to Bangladesh Cricket Board sports physician Dr. Md Manirul Amin.

The injury proved rather more serious, however, and following consultations with Dr. M Ali, a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and knee specialist in Apollo Hospitals Dhaka, Dr. David Young, an orthopaedic surgeon with Melbourne Orthopaedic Group, and Dr. Bidyut Saha, a consultant radiologist also in Apollo Hospitals, a 'conservative management' programme was decided upon.

This is is the non-surgical line of treatment for the injury, involving physical therapy and use of a knee brace. It will also include rest for 10 days, a review after three days, medication, administering ice on the affected area and constant monitoring. Young, as per a board release, expected Mortaza to be back batting in the nets in three weeks, and bowling in four weeks.

Young had performed surgery on Mortaza in August 2009 after the fast bowler hurt his right knee during the first Test against the West Indies at St. Vincent in July that year. Mortaza, who has battled numerous injuries throughout his career, hasn't played a Test since then.

An ankle problem ruled him out for most of the recent home one-day series against New Zealand which Bangladesh won 4-0. He came back for the five-match ODI series against Zimbabwe but said after the first two games that he needed more match practice to get his rhythm back.

He seemed to be regaining his touch with three wickets during tight spells in the last two games of that series, but the extent of his latest injury is likely to determine whether he is able to lead Bangladesh's attack during the World Cup. The BCB has indicated that it will not make any further statements on the injury for the time-being.

"The Board hopes that everyone will respect the privacy of Masrafe Bin Mortaza during this very important rehabilitation period," read a BCB statement. "Mortaza has been a model of courage and willpower throughout his career and can only benefit from moral support and encouragement."