India's World Cup star Yuvraj Singh will recover from a cancerous tumour, his doctor said on Monday, as politicians, sports officials and his team-mates rallied around the ailing all-rounder. Yuvraj is undergoing chemotherapy treatment in the United States for a rare condition, mediastinal seminoma, a malignant tumour located between his lungs.
Nitesh Rohatgi, a senior Delhi-based oncologist who has been treating the 30-year-old cricketer, said he was confident Yuvraj will recover from the disease. "It is curable with the help of therapy and will not hinder Yuvraj's career in the long-term," Rohatgi, a consultant of medical oncology at a New Delhi hospital, told reporters.
"I must stress it is not lung cancer. It is located between the two lungs, rather than in the lungs. It's a rare disease, but something which can be cured. I am confident he will be cured and return to cricket like before," said Rohatgi, adding that Yuvraj will be able to start active training by May.
Yuvraj will on Wednesday start the third week of a nine-week chemotherapy treatment in the United States and will be able to do light training as he improves, the doctor said.
Support for Yuvraj, who was named the man of the tournament after India's World Cup triumph in April last year, poured in from team-mates, officials and politicians across the country.
"Wish Yuvraj a speedy recovery! Asking officials to find the quantum and nature of help required. Government should and will help him," Indian sports minister Ajay Maken wrote on Twitter.
India off-spinner Harbhajan Singh wrote on the micro-blogging site that "whatever Yuvraj is dealing with, we need to support him, leave him alone and allow him to recover soon".
"He is a born fighter. I request media to respect Yuvraj's privacy and allow him to concentrate on his recovery. He will be back with a bang," said Harbhajan.
India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said he did not know about the illness as he had not been in touch with Yuvraj, but he told the Press Trust of India news agency: "He is a pleasure to have in the side."
Left-handed Yuvraj had a dream run in the World Cup, scoring 362 runs with his aggressive batting and grabbing 15 wickets with his disciplined spin bowling across nine matches.
But his family said in November that the all-rounder had been battling a golf ball-sized non-malignant lung tumour which first affected him during the tournament. Yuvraj has not played competitive cricket since that month when he took part in two of three home Tests against the West Indies.
Vijay Mallya, who owns Indian Premier League (IPL) side Royal Challengers Bangalore, said he was "devastated" by the news while Indian Davis Cupper Rohan Bopanna said "all our prayers and good wishes are with him".
"Here's wishing Yuvraj Singh a speedy and complete recovery. On a good day there are few cricketers more exciting than him," Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah said.
Former diplomat and cricket-mad politician Shashi Tharoor tweeted: "Yuvraj, you are a brave guy and a hero to millions. You will beat this illness. We are all praying for you to be Man of this Match. God bless."
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) also wished Yuvraj a speedy recovery. Yuvraj has scored 8,051 runs in 274 one-dayers and 1,775 runs in 37 Tests since making his international debut in 2000.