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Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Sri Lanka spinner leaves hospital

Sri Lankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis
Mendis was one of seven Sri Lanka players injured

Sri Lankan cricketer Ajantha Mendis has left hospital after recovering from wounds sustained in attacks on the Sri Lanka cricket team in Pakistan.

Mendis had to have shrapnel extracted from his head and back after gunmen fired at the team bus as it made its way to the Gadaffi Stadium on 3 March.

The 24-year-old spin bowler said: "I am glad to be going home.

"I am also thankful to God for protecting the entire team at that difficult time."

Mendis was one of seven players injured in the ambush in Lahore, in which six police officers and two civilians were killed.

Thilan Samaraweera was among the most seriously wounded of the seven Sri Lanka players, along with Tharanga Paranavitana.

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Samaraweera had shrapnel removed from his right leg, while Paranavitana had a bullet lodged in his chest.

"I am feeling better, and happy to be with my wife," said Samaraweera after his return to Colombo after the attacks.

"Realistically, I will rest and recuperate for a few weeks and the surgeon says I should be able to resume training towards the end of April or early May.

"The surgeon told us that it must have been a 'lucky bullet' because somehow it missed all the important bits of nerve tissue, tendons and ligaments."

Doctors have also removed shrapnel from the shoulder of vice-captain Kumar Sangakkara and from the arm of British assistant coach Paul Farbrace.

Skipper Mahela Jayawardene was discharged from hospital after treatment for a minor leg injury, while Thilan Thushara and Sampath Lakmal also underwent hospital treatment.

The entire 25-member squad was checked out by medical staff on their return to Sri Lanka and only six were kept in hospital.

Police stepped up security at the Nawaloka hospital where the players were being treated with plain-clothed officers placed outside their hospital rooms along with regular police.

No cricket fans were allowed to visit the players, with only immediate family members given access.

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see also
Lahore suspect sketches released
05 Mar 09 |  South Asia
English stars to take IPL advice
04 Mar 09 |  Cricket
Sri Lanka cricketers arrive home
04 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Hunt for Lahore cricket attackers
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Pakistan faces loss of cricket tours
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia
Gunmen shoot Sri Lanka cricketers
03 Mar 09 |  South Asia


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