Waugh recovering from 'economy class syndrome'

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The Independent Online

The Australia captain, Steve Waugh, is suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the potentially fatal condition associated with long-haul flights, but he said yesterday that he expects to be fit enough to play in the summer's first Test against New Zealand next month.

Waugh, who tore a calf muscle during the third Ashes Test against England at Trent Bridge in July, is receiving blood-thinning medication to dissolve a clot in the injured muscle. He said that the flight back to Australia following the Ashes tour had contributed to the development of the clot in his left leg.

His agent, Robert Joske, had denied newspaper reports last weekend that he was suffering from DVT, sometimes known as "economy class syndrome". The condition, which involves the formation of clots in deep blood vessels, often develops after long periods of immobility such as those experienced on lengthy flights.

Waugh, 36, played down his illness yesterday, but admitted that "the medical people are telling me it is pretty serious". He said: "It sounds bad, but it's a blockage in one of the small veins, and it's going to take a little bit of time to be resolved." The calf injury forced him to miss the fourth Test, which Australia lost, but he returned to play in the fifth game, scoring an unbeaten century to complete a 4-1 series victory for his team.

"I had some treatment when I got home and noticed the soreness was more than what I'd expected or what I had in England," Waugh said. "We decided to have all bases covered, and that [DVT] was one of the tests we had done and it showed up. It has to be monitored week by week, but I'll be back before the first Test match."

Waugh's New South Wales team-mate Corey Richards was also diagnosed with DVT after returning from Britain in July. He has been undergoing blood-thinning treatment, but is struggling to regain fitness.

Australia's series against New Zealand begins on 8 November.