Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: South African captain Graeme Smith revealed on Saturday that his finger injury was worse than initially diagnosed. But he also hinted that it would take a lot more than a broken finger to keep him out of the second Test.

Although the South African media officer said on Friday that Smith had suffered ligament damage not a broken finger, Smith said on Saturday that an MRI scan had detected a break.

“There’s a fracture in one joint of the small finger on the left hand side,” said Smith. “It was picked up on the MRI late afternoon yesterday, the scan result came in towards the evening, last night. The decision was made by the doctors last night.”

Speaking before testing his finger, Smith said he was confident of playing through the pain. “I am pretty confident that I can deal with the pain but until you have done it, its hard to say,” he said. “I have certainly in the last two years had a few pain issues to deal with and I have got through them reasonably well. I think the big question is whether you will be able to contribute and give your best for the team and that’s the question you need to ask yourself, especially as the leader.”

During South Africa’s practice session, Smith had a set of throw-downs before facing the South African pace attack of Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, and Wayne Parnell. He appeared in no noticeable discomfort from the impact of ball on bat. He also played the cut and the pull, strokes which are driven by the bottom-hand — Smith’s left.

Meanwhile Mark Boucher, who suffered a back strain in Nagpur, aborted wicket-keeping practice as a precautionary move. A.B. de Villiers, who has kept wickets in Tests, trained briefly with the big gloves.

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