Team doctor concerned over Bopanna injury

New Delhi, Apr 7 (UNI) Throwing a dampner on the hopes of Indian tennis fans ahead of the crucial Davis Cup tie against Japan starting here on April 11, team doctor Vece Paes today expressed his concerns over the fitness of Rohan Bopanna.

Bopanna, who is down with a knee injury, was forced to pull out of the ITF Men's Futures tennis tournament final in Chandigarh last week.

''Rohan is suffering from a niggle in his knee and it is worrying us,'' Paes told mediapersons after the team's practice session here at the National Sports Club of India (NSCI) courts.

''He is playing very well for the last six months. I am sure we will be able to treat him before the tie,'' he added.

Paes, however, declined to comment when asked how much time Bopanna would need to get match fit.

''It is difficult to say right now as he joined the team today.

We have to assess him and from here we will take it day by day,'' he remarked. ''Our job right now is to nurse him and make sure that he is fit to play as he is our number one player.'' Bopanna was present during the Indian team's practice session in the morning along with two other team-mates Prakash Amritraj and Harsh Mankad. He, however, did not strain himself too much, preferring to have a light work out.

Paes denied that the much publicised player revolt against playing captain Leander Paes will affect the team's performance in the upcoming tie.

''It (players' revolt against Leander) shook everyone up.

Although the issue still alive, everybody is mature enough and they know that their main focus at present is to win the Japan tie,'' he said.

''The atmosphere in the team is pretty relaxed and if the players respond to the task ahead, there will be no problem,'' he added.


Story first published: Monday, April 7, 2008, 20:36 [IST]
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