Johannesburg: Resting South African Test captain Graeme Smith was more important than allowing him to play in the fifth IPL considering the long-term national interest, feels Team doctor Mohammed Moosajee.
"When you`re looking at something more long term, keeping in mind the challenges that we have ahead, we thought it might be the best opportunity to go in and get him sorted out," Moosajee told the daily Business Day.
"Graeme is disappointed that he`s not in the IPL, but playing for his country is paramount," Moosajee added.
Smith, who represents Pune Warriors in the IPL, has been ruled out of action for eight to 10 weeks by the Cricket South Africa following an ankle injury.
It will be the third year in a row that Smith has not been able to fulfil his obligations with an IPL team.
In 2010, he managed just two of the 14 games for Rajasthan Royals due to a finger injury, while last year he played just four games for Pune Warriors before leaving the field with a knee problem.
The injury-prone batsman has sustained five fractures to bones in his hands and also had a tennis elbow.
Moosajee said Smith had a lot of discomfort in the final Test against New Zealand last week.
"With the load of cricket that is going to be played this year we decided we should have him assessed.
"Surgery becomes the best option because there is a loose fragment of bone and the doctor needs to do a debridement, which is shaving off a bit of bone," Moosajee said, adding that, treating the injured area with injections was just a temporary measure.