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Monday, September 20, 1999 Published at 16:04 GMT 17:04 UK

Sport: Cricket

Tendulkar's career not in danger

Sachin Tendulkar: No "major disability"

Fears that India's cricket captain Sachin Tendulkar could have his career cut short by a back problem have been laid to rest by the Australian doctor who is treating him.

Dr Peter Barnes said that although the record-breaking batsman was suffering from spondylolysis - a bone defect in his spine - it would not be a "major disability".

Tendulkar has suffered from the problem for some time. It first seriously affected him before India's World Cup clash with Pakistan last summer and came back to haunt him during last month's tour to Sri Lanka.

'A bit sore'

The injury has been so severe it forced the 26-year-old out of last week's one-day series with the West Indies in Canada.

Barnes had earlier been quoted as saying that Tendulkar's career could be shortened by the condition.

But he clarified his comments on Monday, saying: "It's a very common condition in a lot of sporting people and most of them manage to work around it and keep going.

"He [Tendulkar] will undoubtedly, at various stages of his future career, get a bit sore in his lower back, but by doing his rehabilitation programme on a regular basis he should be able to make these infrequent and not prolonged episodes."

Barnes said the Indian captain had probably suffered from the condition for several years and would have to strengthen his lower back

The doctor, who has been treating Tendulkar in Adelaide, Australia, since last Thursday, said that the player would need to wait four to six weeks to see the benefit of the rehab programme.

Tendulkar will miss India's tour to Kenya for the forthcoming four-nation tournament.

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