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    Manish Pandey faces injury lay-off

    Bangalore: Karnataka middle-order batsman Manish Pandey’s participation for the rest of the 2011-12 Ranji Trophy season is in doubt after he underwent a hernia operation in Bangalore. During his unbeaten 200 against Mumbai recently, which set up Karnataka’s first-innings lead, Pandey felt pain as well as while fielding later in the match. Upon his return to Bangalore, he consulted doctors and was advised an immediate surgery and will now need four to six weeks of rest. “It's really unfortunate," Karnataka's chairman of selectors J Abhiram told Deccan Herald. "He was in great form and was being noticed by everyone. The injury couldn't have come at a worse time."Pandey, 22, was the highest run-getter in the 2009-10 Ranji season – 822 runs in nine matches at 63.00 – and followed it up as the fifth highest last year, with 629 runs from eight matches including two centuries. He continued that form into the Duleep Trophy, scoring 329 runs in three innings, including his maiden first-class double-hundred.In three Ranji matches this season, Pandey – who burst into the limelight when he became the first Indian to score an IPL century in 2009 - has put up 268 runs. Karnataka are currently at the top of the Elite Division points table with 12 points, two clear of Mumbai at second place. They next play Saurashtra at home in the fourth round of matches, starting Tuesday. Karun Nair, a 19-year-old batsman yet to make his first-class debut, will be Pandey's replacement.