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Already in a race to prove his fitness ahead of the West Indies T20Is in the Caribbean and USA, KL Rahul endured another setback when he tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday. The news was confirmed by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly after an apex council meeting in Mumbai.
Rahul had been recuperating at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru following a surgery for sports hernia in Germany last month and his inclusion in the T20I squad against West Indies was subject to fitness. He had steadily amped up his batting time at the nets over the past week before testing positive. This is likely to leave Rahul with a small window to pass his fitness test and retain a negative before taking the flight to the Caribbean. With the T20Is set to begin in Trinidad on July 29, it is likely Rahul will miss the series.
ESPNcricinfo understands Rahul is now in line to make his international return in Zimbabwe in August, should he pass his post-Covid recovery. India are set to play three ODIs on August 18, 20 and 22 in Harare, and the series will be part of the ODI Super League.
Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav has received a green signal from the NCA after recovering from a hand injury. The selection committee is likely to take a final call over his participation at the earliest. As such, his inclusion in India's T20I squad was also subject to a fitness test.
Kuldeep had been recovering from a hairline fracture on his right wrist that forced him out of the South Africa T20Is at home. The injury also ruled him out of the white-ball tours of Ireland and England. Kuldeep last played in the IPL for Delhi Capitals, for whom he picked up 21 wickets in 14 matches.