New Delhi: Yuvraj Singh, the India batsman who is recovering from a non-malignant lung tumour, is targetting a comeback during the limited-overs matches in Australia in February 2012. Yuvraj said he had resumed training and would be able to start "practising like normal" after a week.
"I will be ready for the one-dayers in Australia," Yuvraj told a national daily. "I just can't wait to have that India logo on my shirt again. I want to wear that India cap again."
It has been a year of highs and lows for Yuvraj. He was the Player of the Tournament during India's 2011 World Cup victory and that performance raised hopes of a Test comeback. An injury kept him out of the tour of the West Indies, though, and his series in England was cut short by a finger injury sustained during the Nottingham Test. Yuvraj was then left out of the Test squad for the final match of the home series against West Indies in November. He asked the BCCI to not consider him for selection for the home ODIs against West Indies because he wanted time to regain fitness.
Yuvraj said he had been troubled by bouts of coughing and vomiting since the World Cup but had ignored the problem during the tournament, "assuming it was due to stress." Subsequent tests revealed "a golf-ball sized" growth on his left lung and Yuvraj was told it could be malignant.
"I was living my biggest dream, winning the World Cup and taking the Man-of-the-Tournament trophy too; and then I got to know that I had a tumour in my lung," he said. "I just couldn't understand how life could serve me both at virtually the same time … 2010 had already been bad for me. I had to fight one injury after another. And this (the tumour) came."
Yuvraj still went on India's disastrous tour of England but said he found it difficult to focus. "The non-playing days were tough. But once I was on the field, I forgot everything. The pain, the fear vanished." The finger injury ended Yuvraj's tour but he said his body needed a break by that time. "I needed rest. That's when I realised the big truth: I can't fight time. I can't fight my own body."
Yuvraj went through several rounds of medical procedures in order to ascertain the exact nature of the tumour, which was found to be non-malignant. "For the first time in a long while, I had a big smile on my face … it feels different, it's like a new life for me. It's almost like I am starting all over again.
"Enjoy all its (life's) small successes and sweet moments. I also realized that health is the most important thing. Money, fame, cars, and adulation … they all count for nothing. I just want to be 100% fit."