Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bracken can keep up pace despite surgery

THESE photos of inside Nathan Bracken's knee, taken during surgery, highlight the extent of the damage the star one-day bowler has endured over the past two-and-a-half years.

Bracken, 32, was forced to leave Australia's ultimately successful ICC Champions Trophy campaign in South Africa last month when he could no longer tolerate playing with the pain in his knee. He was operated on by Dr Merv Cross, the "guru" of such surgery, in Sydney two weeks ago and is now undergoing rehabilitation. The "clean out" confirmed he'd been carrying a grade three cartilage tear and another grade three to four cartilage tear. Bracken said seeing the photographs answered many questions.

"I haven't been able to straighten my leg since the summer we played Sri Lanka and India two-and-a-half years ago, I'd lost a lot of movement and am still waiting to see if I can straighten my leg," Bracken told The Sun-Herald.

"The suggestion is the longer I spend recovering the better it will be for my overall wellbeing. At the moment we are looking at my return to coincide with the interstate Twenty20 matches and hopefully I'll be considered for the Australian team that plays in the one-dayers in January."

As Bracken carried the knee problem he was criticised by some commentators for lacking "express" pace, - although he still achieved a No.1 world ranking when he should probably have been sidelined.

"I lost some of my pace but I am hoping I regain that when I come back," he said.

"I plan to return better from this surgery because I'll be able to play pain-free.

"I had reached the stage where I could no longer guarantee my captain that I could finish bowling my overs."

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