Mohali, Oct 28 (UNI) India suffered a big jolt ahead of tomorrow's do-or-die Champions Trophy tie against Australia as middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh was ruled out for four weeks after hurting his calf during the team's warm-up session at the PCA Stadium nets here this morning.
The injury has put Yuvraj on the sidelines not only for the Champions Trophy but for the South Africa tour beginning next month with the team's selection slated for October 30.
Medical experts say the recuperating from injury might take the southpaw anything from four to nine weeks.
This is a second blow to Team India in as many days after paceman Ajit Agarkar was ruled out after cracking his finger.
Team spokesman Rajan Nair said the left-handed batsman had undergone an MRI scan and a ''cruciate ligament tear'' was diagnosed. ''He will be leaving immediately for Mumbai to consult (BCCI) medical consultant Anant Joshi. He will be out of cricket for up to four weeks,'' Nair added.
On whether the team would seek a replacement for Yuvraj from the ICC, Nair said, ''If only we win tommorrow's match, we will seek a replacement.'' Even as players were engaged in a round of 'kho-kho' at around 0900 hrs soon after arriving at the practice venue adjacent to the stadium, Yuvraj crashed to the ground while trying an evasive manovuere. He had clearly hurt himself, but for almost five minutes no one noticed his prone figure as the game carried on.
Eventually, Yuvraj was spotted and quickly surrounded before being helped up and led away, limping and with a heavy ice-pack strapped to his right knee. He was thereafter rushed to the Fortis hospital.
This is the same establishment where incidentally, Sourav Ganguly had a boil lanced a couple of years ago that thereafter developed complications, leading to his missing a Test against New Zealand.
Yuvraj was later taken to the MRI Diagnostic Centre in Chandigarh's Sector eight for the scan.
The left-hander may not be in the best of form, with two contributions of 27 each in the first two games of the ongoing Champions Trophy, but with runs at such a premium for India, his absence will be a grievous blow given the fact that India meet Australia in a virtual quarter-final here tomorrow.
Skipper Rahul Dravid has indicated to the mediapersons that another punjab southpaw Dinesh Mongia or Mohd Kaif might replace Yuvraj.
''We have two batsmen -- Dinesh Mongia and Mohd Kaif -- in the squad and one of them can be a replacement for Yuvraj if need be,'' Dravid said.
He also added that, ''We have already got a replacement for Ajit Agarkar as S Sreesanth has arrived here.'' Sreesanth's inclusion in place of Agarkar has been approved by the technical committee of the tournament.
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