Complete rest is order of the day for Vaughan

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The Independent Online

Paul Collingwood's maiden Test century and a defiant performance from England on the second day of the first Test here yesterday will have brought welcome solace to Michael Vaughan after he was told that his chances of returning to India are virtually non- existent. The England captain left the subcontinent on Tuesday in an attempt to correct the chronic knee condition that is threatening his career and had an injection into the joint on Wednesday.

Vaughan has been told to have two weeks' complete rest before starting a rehabilitation programme under the guidance of the physiotherapist at his county side, Yorkshire. Vaughan's rest would have included switching on the television at 4.30am yesterday and watching his close friend Collingwood score a magnificent 134 in England's first innings total of 393. By close India were 136 for 1.

"The specialist has advised Michael to rest the knee completely for two weeks before recommencing his rehabilitation programme under the supervision of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club physiotherapist," an England and Wales Cricket Board statement said.

"Michael has been ruled out of the current Test series against India. His knee will be reassessed in due course but at this stage it is not anticipated that he will be fit for the one-day international series in India."

Vaughan and his team-mate Simon Jones, who twisted his left knee while practising for the first Test here, were both seen by the orthopaedic surgeon Derek Bickerstaff, a knee specialist, on Wednesday.

Bickerstaff has worked with both players before, having operated on Vaughan's knee last year and helping Jones recover from the serious right knee injury he sustained in Australia in 2002. "It is always the type of problem which can flare up," Bickerstaff said of Vaughan's injury. "It is disappointing it has flared up again but some of the features are a bit different. Unfortunately, it is an area which does not heal itself, so it is more of an issue of managing the problem."

As for Jones, Bickerstaff believes the problem is minor in comparison to the Glamorgan pace bowler's last knee injury when he was out of action for the best part of a year. "The potential is that he has a simple cartilage tear in his knee," the specialist said. "The injury he had before was a severe injury and he did well to get back to the level he is now playing.

"If there is no good evidence of a tear we would treat him conservatively and could be looking at a return in six or eight weeks."

A formal statement about Jones' condition is expected in due course.