'Too early to talk about World Cup' - Yuvraj

Yuvraj Singh, India's middle-order batsman who suffered a knee injury during the recently concluded Champions Trophy, is not worried by news reports that he might miss next year's World Cup in the Caribbean.

"The World Cup is far away," Yuvraj told the media, "and it is too early to say anything about my inclusion either in the team for the Test series in South Africa or the World Cup." Yuvraj had to sit out of what was virtually a Champions Trophy quarter-final clash against Australia in Mohali after he sustained a cruciate ligament injury while turning sharply during a game of kho-kho, a traditional Indian game, on the eve of the game.

Yuvraj was responding to reports quoting Andrew Leipus, former India physiotherapist, in which he said the injury could threaten Yuvraj's chances at the World Cup, considering the recovery time needed for rehabilitation. "Yuvraj's is a serious case," Leipus said. "He has a ruptured ligament and the nature of his injury is such that it will take around four to five months to heal."

Yuvraj is almost certain to miss India's forthcoming tour to South Africa, starting from November 19, and the focus remains on the World Cup, from March next year. It means that Yuvraj has approximately four months to regain peak fitness. Leipus feels it could be "touch and go." Yuvraj is scheduled to meet Dr Anant Joshi, the Indian board's sports medicine consultant, on November 13 to reassess the nature of the injury.

Meanwhile, John Gloster, current India physiotherapist, refrained from commenting on Yuvraj's injury till "the board makes an official statement on it after reassessing his fitness." Ratnakar Shetty, the BCCI's chief administrative officer, has also played down reports suggesting Yuvraj might have to sit out of the World Cup. "Yurvraj will be re-examined by Dr Joshi in the presence of team physiotherapist John Gloster," Shetty told the Press Trust of India, "and only then can a correct picture emerge about the progress he has made. A media statement will be issued only then."