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June 3, 2006
Tendulkar, who is in London, spoke to Sky at a sun-drenched Lord's, and said that his shoulder was on the mend. "It's been a couple of months since the surgery and the strength levels are reasonably back," he said. "I wouldn't say that I am totally happy with it, and neither of the doctors are totally happy with the strength levels, but I have regained a fair amount of the strength and it should take another three or four weeks for me to be 100%."
Tendulkar said that he planned to remain in the UK for at least another month before a low-key return to action. "Nothing is planned as of now. I just want to get fit and not be under pressure to be fit before any specific date. I will look to play some exhibition games and probably now is the time to start looking around for the people who organise those.
"It's going to be hard work because I am not 17 any more. The recovery does take longer than when you are younger ... but I am not that old either."
Asked about the future and whether he still had an appetite for the game, Tendulkar was clear. "If the hunger isn't there then I shouldn't be playing. The hunger is there. I've always loved the sport and that is why I am here training hard and looking forward to be back in action as soon as possible. The hunger will always be there.
"I am very sure there is some cricket left in me and plenty of runs. I just want to fight back hard and to get fit becomes my priority now, and once I am fit I am sure that things will follow in the right place."
"It is important that I don't try to get back in action earlier than my schedule. It wouldn't be advisable and could lead to some other injury - that's what the doctors have told me."
He dismissed the views of those who have begun to write his cricketing obituary. "I don't need to react to what people say about me," he said. "That's their opinion. A lot of people had predicted many things - such as before the 2003 World Cup when I had a terrible tour of New Zealand - but I will let my bat talk.
"I know my body better than anyone and I know how much cricket there is left in me. You get these people that like to open their mouths occasionally without thinking. There are bound to be good opinions and bad opinions. You have to take it in your stride and not worry about what X, Y, Z is saying. They are paid to say these things and they have a job and have to make the statements. Sometimes it's in your favour, sometimes it's not."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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