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Sachin Tendulkar has ruled himself out of India's tour to the West Indies after deciding not to undergo a scheduled fitness test. Speaking to reporters, Tendulkar said, "We have been trying hard. Andrew Leipus has been with me all the time and all my sessions were monitored. There is weakness in my arm. I am not still ready to compete at the international level. I will be going to London for further treatment."

Tendulkar was unsure about how long the treatment is likely to take, or indeed when he will regain full fitness. When asked, he said "It's a difficult question. I don't know. I leave it to the doctors to guide me in the right direction. The doctor will be in touch with the board." Tendulkar will leave for London tonight to consult with Andrew Wallace, the doctor who operated on his shoulder.

Leipus, the former India physiotherapist, said that Tendulkar needed to rest and recuperate, instead of over-exerting himself with training. "Primarily the decision has been based on functional weakness, not on performance basis. We don't want him to do any further damage to his shoulder. We are looking at the big picture of his career. Recovery is important. He can't just keep training - he has to rest in order to get his body stronger."

Niranjan Shah, the BCCI secretary, said that the Board was keen to have Tendulkar in the team as soon as possible and his rehabilitation process will be reviewed in two to three weeks time by the team management.

Tendulkar's shoulder ruled him out of the recent ODI series against England and is a further blow in what has been an injury-plagued period in his career; the problem comes on the back of a tennis elbow he suffered last season. The injuries have been compounded by a relative lack of success on the field.

Shah said Wasim Jaffer, the opener, who underwent and passed a fitness test today following a shin surgery, was fit and available for selection. "We looked at it (Jaffer's fitness test) from the point of view of his legs and he is fit," Leipus said. "He was slightly out of breath today because he is recovering from viral fever"

The Indian squad for the four-Test series against the West Indies will be announced here tomorrow. The first Test begins at Antigua on June 2.

Cricinfo

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