Cricket

Smith on course for Trophy

2009-08-20 09:05
Graeme Smith (Gallo)
Altus Momberg

Cape Town - Proteas captain Graeme Smith is well on course to lead his charges in the Champions Trophy tournament at the end of next month.

Smith started practising again this week after undergoing surgery to his elbow in June.

"I started hitting tennis balls the first time today. It was quite an exciting day," Smith joked on Wednesday.

The Proteas open the tournament against Sri Lanka in Centurion on 22 September.

However, they are set to get together for a training camp in Potchefstroom at the end of next week.

Smith says his arm is feeling good, but he is still concerned about how it will react when he has to play a long innings.

"The doctors did say that surgery will correct the problem. However, I have a nagging doubt because I struggled for so long," he said.

The good news for him is that it is the same operation that Jacques Kallis underwent for his tennis elbow in 2005. Since then the all-rounder has not experienced any problems.

Smith has been struggling with a serious tennis elbow for the past two seasons. He missed last year’s one-day series in England and then rested the arm for an extended period.

However, he still experienced problems during the series in Australia. He had a blood injection in an attempt to get relief from the pain.

Smith has a busy schedule ahead of him. After the Champions Trophy he will join the Cape Cobras in India for the Champions League before returning to South Africa for a series of Twenty20 games, five one-day matches and four tests against England.

The Proteas will tour India early next year and after that it is almost time for the Indian Premier League again.

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