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Injured Graeme Smith out of IPL

Posted by James On 12:01 PM 0 comments

In a major setback to the Rajasthan Royals, their opener Graeme Smith has been ruled out of the IPL due to a finger injury. Smith fractured his right middle finger while fielding during Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Ahmedabad, and is now in a race to be fit in time for the ICC World Twenty20 which starts on April 30.

Smith hurt himself while pulling off a diving catch to end Virender Sehwag's onslaught on 75 in a match Rajasthan lost by six wickets. "I have a double fracture in my right middle finger, so will be missing the IPL," Smith said on his Twitter page. "I hurt it taking the catch off Sehwag last night, when I landed my finger got hooked in the ground."

The injury adds to the batting worries of Rajasthan, who have had a poor start to their campaign, losing their first two games. Shane Warne's team is already missing Australian allrounder Shane Watson (busy with the Tests in New Zealand till the end of the match) and Indian allrounder Ravindra Jadeja (banned from this season's IPL), while the big-hitting pair of Yusuf Pathan and Dimitri Mascarenhas also picked up injuries during Monday's match.

The overseas batsmen now available for Shane Warne's team are Hampshire's Michael Lumb and Australian pair of Damien Martyn and Adam Voges.

This is the second finger injury Smith has picked up in little more than a month. He had hurt his little finger on the left hand during the build-up to the Eden Gardens Test in February, which kept him out of the one-dayers against India which followed.

Over the last two years, Smith has had several long-standing injury problems. He first suffered a tennis elbow injury during the IPL in India in April 2008 and that forced him to miss the last three ODIs against England the same year. He later broke his hand while facing Australia's Mitchell Johnson in the third Test in Sydney but bravely batted in the second innings to try and save the game. He missed the subsequent ODI series and decided to delay the surgery on his injured tennis elbow until after the return series against the Australians at home last year.

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