Tendulkar feared career was over after tennis-elbow surgery

Sun Nov 17, 2013 10:12am EST
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By Sudipto Ganguly

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Recovering from a tennis-elbow injury was the most difficult phase in Sachin Tendulkar's illustrious cricket career with the master batsman fearing he would never be able to hold a bat again after surgery in 2005.

The diminutive Indian bid an emotional farewell to the sport at his home Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, signing off as cricket's most prolific run-scorer after a sparkling career that spanned almost a quarter of a century.

Tendulkar was first diagnosed with the career-threatening injury in 2004 but continued to play through pain before being operated on a year later in London.

"It's always very difficult when you suffer injuries. Coincidentally my injuries were not common ones," Tendulkar, sporting his navy blue India team blazer over a white shirt, told reporters on Sunday.

"There used to be different goals every time I made a comeback. It's not possible to recover earlier than scheduled by just working harder in the gym."

The thought of giving up the sport for good crossed Tendulkar's mind as he tried to get back on the field after the surgery.

"It took four-and-a half months to recover after the surgery on my tennis elbow. The doctor asked if I would be able to play competitive cricket at all," he said.

"I could not even lift my son Arjun's plastic bat. Kids aged 10-12 years had come to the ground for fielding the day I went to bat for the first time against a season (leather) ball.   Continued...

Indian cricket player Sachin Tendulkar speaks during a news conference a day after his retirement in Mumbai November 17, 2013. Tendulkar will become the first sportsperson to receive a Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, the country's government announced hours after the batting great's 200th and final test ended on Saturday. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui