Sachin in doubt for IPL due to toe injury

Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar`s participation in the entire fifth edition of the IPL is in doubt after the veteran batsman flew to London to consult a specialist regarding an old toe injury, which has resurfaced and may require surgery.

"Yes, Sachin Tendulkar has gone to London for consultation about his toe injury. He has been playing with this injury for long. It is not sure when he will return as even a surgery may be needed to correct it," an Indian Cricket Board source told PTI today.

The Indian Premier League is all set to commence on April 4 in Chennai, where Tendulkar`s Mumbai Indians, the last year`s runner-up will take on defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the M A Chidambaram Stadium.

Tendulkar, who notched up his 100th international ton in the recently-concluded Asia Cup, also did not attend the BCCI-organised felicitation function of the retired batsman Rahul Dravid last evening at a hotel near his residence here, as he had already left for England.

The toe injury is a decade old but it came back to haunt him and upset his plans to play the ODI series in England last September after a not-too-successful run in the four-Test series that preceded it. He was withdrawn from the team sheet before the first ODI, which was washed out. And then the BCCI issued a statement, saying that Tendulkar had been ruled out of the series "due to a toe injury".

Tendulkar had consulted a specialist in London after suffering the injury and was advised four weeks` rest. Tendulkar came back to play the Test rubber against the West Indies at home after missing the Champions League Twenty20, which was won by Mumbai Indians under the stand-in-skipper Harbhajan Singh.

But after playing the Test series against the Windies, Tendulkar again opted to rest for the ODI series. He went to Australia with an advance party of senior players including captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Dravid and V V S Laxman to get acclimatised to the conditions Down Under when the limited over series against the West Indies was in progress.