New Delhi: Yuvraj Singh, who is undergoing chemotherapy in the United States for a rare germ cell cancer, has posted a picture on Twitter that shows him without his hair.
He tweeted: "Finally the hair has gone, But #livstrong #yuvstrong."
The left hander had tweeted a couple of days back to say that he was recovering well, and couldn't wait to be back in his India colours. He also expressed gratitude to his fans, and promised to make a stronger comeback. Later in the day, he also tweeted to say that he spent 20 minutes on the cycle in the gym adding that Amul's new advertisement that says Yu and Vi will fight this together 'is very cute.'
On Wednesday, the stylish southpaw spoke for the first time since the news of his battle against cancer came out.
"I will fight and come back as a stronger man cause I have the prayers of my nation ! Thank you to the media for their support and respecting my privacy," Yuvraj wrote on Twitter.
"and of course everyday I look forward to come back and wear my india jersey my india cap and represent my country again jai hind," he tweeted.
Yuvraj, who is known to be a fighter, said: "I'm recovering well. Yes, its tough but tough times don't last tough men do !"
"Overwhelmed with the love and support people have given me, I feel joy in my heart that so many wishes. Will cure me!," he tweeted.
The 30-year-old left-hander has been in the US since last month and is currently undergoing chemotherapy in the Cancer Research Institute in Boston. Wishes and prayers are pouring in from all corners of the world.
"I have read every tweet of every fan who has wished me watched all videos ! Seen how many prayers are said in temples ! I thank you all from the bottom of my heart," Yuvraj wrote on the micro-blogging site.
He also thanked the Indian Cricket Board for the support. "The president and members of BCCI have been a huge support in my tough times and because of them I'm getting the best treatment ! Thank you again bcci," he said.
Yuvraj, who is reading Lance Armstrong's autobiography for inspiration and is being treated by the same doctor who cured Armstrong's testicular cancer, is keen on meeting the legendary cyclist.
"I look forward to meeting lance armstrong soon and take inspiration," he said. Yuvraj also told that he would keep everyone updated about his health.
Yuvraj also defended his physio, Dr Jatin Chaudhary, who is being blamed for the delay in his treatment. "I see a lot of people blaming jatin chaudhary but he is at no fault he only tried to help it was my decision to go with alternative medicine," Yuvraj said.
On Monday, Yuvraj's doctors said that cricketer will resume training in ten weeks. Dr Nitesh Rohtagi, Yuraj's oncologist, said: "Association with the word cancer is negative. His condition is completely curable. He has got a rare type of seminoma."
He also added that the flamboyant batsman would undergo therapy for nine weeks and could be back on the field in the first week of May.
Yuvraj, said the doctor, was very tough mentally and was doing better than most in the same situation. "He is presently not as fit as he was this time last year. He however is doing much better than others who have this condition," he said adding that doctors in the USA are working closely with a medical team in India. "At present he is reading books including the autobiography of Lance Armstrong. He is playing video games and is going for walks," the doctor said.
Yuvraj's ailment was diagnosed at the first stage. "He is responding well to treatment. In fact the doctor keeps asking him if he belongs to a very strong bloodline," Yuvraj's father, former cricketer Yograj Singh, said on Monday afternoon. "The doctor has told Yuvraj 'I will send you from here as a new champion and you will be stronger than before, a thing like this cancer won't exist for you anymore that is my promise'," Yograj Singh added.
Yuvraj's family has thanked the Indian Cricket Board for insisting that Yuvraj undergo further check-ups in the US. The board, said Yuvraj's father, had been like a father to his son.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has in a statement wished Yuvraj a speedy recovery and asked the media to "respect the privacy of his family". Sports Minister Ajay Maken tweeted on Sunday night, "Wish Yuvraj a speedy recovery! Asking officials to find the quantum and nature of help required. Government shld & will help him (sic)". There are many more tweets.
Yuvraj also thanked Maken and Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah. "Thank you to ajay maken ! mr omar abdullah and mr narendra modi for their kind words," said.
Teammates like Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth and Virender Sehwag expressed their support. Yuvraj is a favourite in Bollywood and wishes poured in from those quarters too.
Schoolchildren and cricket fans have joined the celebs in wishing the batsman a speedy recovery. In Faridkot, Punjab, School students held a special prayer in a Gurudwara to wish their hero well. Several social organisations also held prayers.
And from Dave Callaghan, the former South Africa all-rounder, who overcame testicular cancer to play international cricket in the 1990s and early 2000, came some advice: Set yourself a goal, he has said to Yuvraj. While Port Elizabeth-based Callaghan conceded that survival would be uppermost on Yuvraj's mind, the 47-year-old South African said that the batsman must soon set a time frame for his return to cricket. "Yuvraj will do well to tell himself, 'by the end of my treatment, I would like to play... for example... next year's IPL (Indian Premier League).' A target to work towards is important," said Callaghan. "I told myself (in 1991) that at the end of my treatment which was four to six months, I would like to play one first-class match again," he said.
Yuvraj has played 37 Tests, scoring 1775 runs at an average of 34.80.
He has 8051 runs at an average of 37.62 from his 274-match ODI career, the highlight of which was his stellar role in India's World Cup triumph last year.
Story first published on: Friday, 10 February 2012 09:11 IST