Ashley Giles's hip injury February 9, 2006

Giles confident despite arthritis scare

Cricinfo staff

'I'm still keen to get out to India' - Giles © Getty Images

Ashley Giles, the England left-arm spinner, has revealed that surgeons detected early signs of arthritis while operating on his hip. Giles, who withdrew from England's tour of Pakistan after the three Tests, underwent surgery in an attempt to stimulate the new growth of cartilage in his hip.

In an interview to BBC Radio Five Live, Giles said, "We thought the problem was just a bit of a tear in the cartilage but when the surgeon went in there were early signs of arthritis. I'm still keen to get out to India. When exactly that is, none of us really know. In 10 years time I don't want to be having a hip replacement. But it's a serious joint and (playing again too soon) it could damage it majorly. If we just give it a bit of extra time now it could do it a lot of good."

Giles, who was replaced by Ian Blackwell, the Somerset allrounder, did not rule out the possibility of returning to the squad in the latter stages of the tour. He said, "The door is still open for me to go on the tour at some point, basically because we don't know how it's going to react over the next couple of weeks. I'm desperate to play cricket for England but it's better if I'm fit."

Besides Blackwell, Shaun Udal and Monty Panesar are the other spinners.

Giles believes India hold the upper hand, given that that the hosts are likely to dish out turning tracks and adviced the England spinners not to get carried away. He added, "It will be tough for them because, although the wickets turn, the Indians are exceptional players of spin bowling. With the strength in our pace attack they certainly aren't going to prepare bouncy wickets that suit those guys. In those situations you need your spinners to either hold up an end or be your strike bowlers."