Recuperating bowler aims for West Indies tour March 30, 2008

Knee surgery puts Bracken in doubt for IPL

Cricinfo staff

Nathan Bracken bowled throughout the season even after he was diagnosed with severe knee bruising © Getty Images

Nathan Bracken, the Australian fast bowler, has revealed how close a knee injury was to ending his international career. Bracken, 30, underwent surgery in Melbourne this week after a scan showed his cartilage was dangerously close to snapping and he has been advised between four to ten weeks of rehabilitation.

"I was doing more damage to the ligament every time I walked or moved," Bracken told the Sun-Herald. "It was serious. It could have ended my career if it went, for sure."

The recovery seriously threatens his participation in the Indian Premier League, but he hopes to be fit for the one-day component of the West Indies tour, which starts on June 24. Bracken has signed with Bangalore in the Twenty20 competition that starts on April 18 and finishes on June 1.

Bracken went into the season aware of a problem, but he continued after he was diagnosed with severe bruising. He took 21 wickets in the CB Series, which earned him the Man-of-the-Series award.

"I knew something was wrong," he said. "There was a bit of pain and when I experienced it during the Pura Cup final the doctor suggested I get it looked at. The big thing now is that I do the right rehabilitation. If there is any pain and discomfort I'm going to have to stop. It's important I don't push it too hard. Because the injury is in a really bad spot it can cause all sorts of dramas."

Bracken said the bone was bruised and that the doctor who operated on him said the cartilage "was like old paint peeling off a wall". "A big chunk of cartilage came out while he was cleaning the area up," he said. "He was amazed I was able to play through the summer.

"The doctor who performed the operation looks after two AFL teams and this kind of injury is common in that code. He said I wouldn't be able to kick a ball with this injury but he was still surprised I was able to land upon it as comfortably as I did; though it wasn't really comfortable."