Sachin will be available for entire IPL: MI

Mumbai: Sachin Tendulkar will be available to play the entire duration of the upcoming Indian Premier League after returning from London where he has gone for a medical consultation for a toe injury, the Mumbai Indians (MI) franchise team spokesman said here.

"I can categorically say Sachin Tendulkar (captain of Mumbai Indians) is available for the entire duration of the IPL. He has gone to London just for consultation (about his toe injury) and is scheduled to be back on March 31. There is no question of any surgery," the spokesperson informed PTI.

"He will also be there for the opening ceremony (on April 2) at Chennai and for the opening encounter (on April 4 against defending champions Chennai Super Kings)," the spokesman added.

The MI clarification came after PTI learnt from a source in the Cricket Board that the return of the champion batsman, after his consultation in London with a specialist, was uncertain as even a surgery might be needed to put a question mark on his participation for the entire duration of the Twenty20 League.

"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," the BCCI source said earlier.

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

Tendulkar, who notched up his 100th international ton in the recently-concluded Asia Cup, 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.

The senior cricketer was withdrawn from the team sheet before the first ODI, which was washed out.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. He came back to play the Test rubber against the West Indies at home after missing the Champions League Twenty 20, 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.

Tendulkar played the Test series in Australia and then stayed on to take part in the triangular ODI series before playing the Asia Cup in Bangladesh where he achieved the long-eluding milestone of 100 tons in international cricket. He addressed the media in a lengthy session here last Sunday, got feted by MI`s owners Mukesh and Nita Ambani at their residence the next evening before flying off to London.