Deccan Chargers v Mumbai Indians, IPL, Centurion May 5, 2009

Injured Zaheer to miss Deccan clash

Cricinfo staff

Zaheer Khan will miss Mumbai Indians' next match against Deccan Chargers at Centurion on Wednesday, as he is nursing a shoulder injury which he picked up in the previous game against Royal Challengers Bangalore. Zaheer, while attempting to stop a drive from Robin Uthappa, fell on his bowling shoulder and left the field wincing in pain.

Luckily, both for Mumbai and India, subsequent scans have revealed nothing serious and the left-arm fast bowler is expected to be back in action pretty soon. "He [Zaheer] had a scan on his injured shoulder today. We had feared the worst but it's not as bad as we thought it could be originally. There is a little bit of inflammation. We will be taking it day by day. But he will not be playing against Hyderabad (Deccan) and that's for sure," Shaun Pollock, Mumbai's mentor-cum-coach, told the media after the team practice session, which Zaheer did not attend.

At the halfway stage, Mumbai are languishing at second place from bottom after registering three wins in their seven games. Pollock agreed Zaheer's return was imminent and crucial, but he would not like to rush him, keeping in mind that India would like a completely fit Zaheer to defend their crown at the World Twenty20, which begins in England in exactly a month.

"We understand that in the bigger picture there is the World Twenty20. We need to understand that so we don't want him back in action before he is really ready. He has a huge career ahead of him and we don't want to be stupid," Pollock said.

Asked if that meant Zaheer may be missing in action for few more games after tomorrow Pollock did not want to speculate. "I am sure that at the earliest possibility we will want him back."

Pollock said Zaheer's replacement tomorrow will be a choice between Dhawal Kulkarni and Rahil Shaikh. Kulkarni has played only one game this season while Shaikh, the left-arm fast bowler, is yet to make his IPL debut.