July 8, 2003

Harbhajan returns home without undergoing surgery

Wisden Cricinfo staff

Harbhajan Singh will return home from Australia without having undergone surgery on his injured finger. Initial tests at a Melbourne hospital had indicated that he needed an operation immediately, but an official of the BCCI told the Times of India that Harbhajan would "undergo the surgery only if pain recurs."

This is the latest twist to a story which started a month ago when Harbhajan was reported to be about to travel to America to be operated on by the same surgeon who treated Sachin Tendulkar. Within days the destination had switched to Melbourne after Harbhajan spoke to Shane Warne.

Harbhajan, with the consent of the BCCI, travelled to Australia and was preparing for surgery when his doctor changed his mind after physiotherapy began to show some positive results. At the weekend Harbhajan bowled in the nets for almost an hour and he came through the session with little discomfort.

It is expected that Harbhajan will return to India later in the week.