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RCB pacer Navdeep Saini suffers split webbing in bowling hand; physio unsure of his recovery period

  • Navdeep Saini injured his right-hand thumb during the match against CSK on Sunday.

  • RCB’s physio said that he is not sure when Saini will be good to go.

The Virat Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) will be sweating on Navdeep Saini’s fitness after the fast bowler split his webbing during their game against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) on Sunday evening.

In the 18th over of CSK’s run chase, Saini tried to stop the ball off his own bowling and ended up injuring his right thumb. Injured Saini soon after completing his over walked off the field and has now got stitches. RCB physio Evan Speechly is unsure about the pacer’s recovery time which has left the management worried.

“Saini has split his webbing in the last ball there. He obviously got hit on the thumb on the right hand. He has just split the webbing over there, fortunately, we had a good hand surgeon, he stitched up nicely. So we could just monitor over the night and check it after getting ready for the next game,” Speechly was quoted as saying by ANI.

The injury is similar to what Virat suffered in the 2016 IPL season. At the time, the RCB skipper had eight stitches on his right hand but continued to play. He finished that season with 973 runs – the most by a batsman in a single edition.

“Virat four-five years ago had it in Kolkata. We managed to stop the bleeding, and he smashed a 100 [113, against the Kings XI Punjab] after we got a plastic surgeon who had stitched it. Unfortunately, you cannot compare the two injuries,” Speechly explained. “Some people manage it, and some can’t.

“It’s also because Saini’s injury is on his bowling hand, so it puts a lot of pressure on him. I cannot be sure when he will be good to go. I am hoping that he will be good to play in the next game and the rest of the tournament.”

Saini has been key to RCB’s turnaround this season. He has so far played in all the eleven games. Though the 27-year-old has only picked up five wickets, he has been among the most economical pacers in the team, conceding just 7.95 runs an over.

In the ongoing IPL, RCB have won seven out of their 11 games and are primed to make it to the playoffs for the first time since 2016, when they finished runners-up. The Royal Challengers will play two of the top three – Mumbai Indians and the Delhi Capitals – in their remaining games to round off the league stage.

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