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Prior looks ahead as surgery date set

George Dobell

August 15, 2014

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Will be a long road back - Prior

Matt Prior will have surgery early next month to try and overcome the Achilles problem which forced him to take a break from the game but admitted he has "a long road back."

Prior, a veteran of 79 Tests, announced his decision to stand down for the rest of the season following the second Investec Test against India at Lord's as he bids to regain his fitness. He will undergo surgery on his Achilles tendon on September 4 and hopes to return to the game at the start of the 2015 English season.

"It was pretty bad, to be honest," Prior told ESPNcricinfo. "I went as long and as hard as I could, but I couldn't go any further. I still hurt. I've seen the specialist and surgeons and I'm having an operation on September 4."

"It's not the end, but there is a long road back and it starts from September 4 with four months of rehab to get as fit as I possibly can.

"It was a massive decision, but I went as long as I could. It's been shown by specialists that I couldn't physically have gone on any longer. So it's not time to get it right, get fit again and come back stronger."

Despite his personal disappointment, Prior welcomed the bright start made by his successor as England's Test keeper, Jos Buttler.

"I think he's done brilliantly," Prior said. "The one thing he has done that is massive for keepers is scoring runs. When you're scoring runs it takes pressure off your wicketkeeping. It allows you to just play and feel relaxed. And when you're relaxed you keep a lot better. Jos has done brilliantly and good luck to him.

"It's a bit strange being at the Test and [just] watching. It's the first time in many years. But I gave it everything. I was very proud of everything I've done for England as Test wicketkeeper for however many years. But Jos has come in and done very well. "

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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Posted by SamWintson92 on (August 17, 2014, 8:23 GMT)

He was good, I must admit. But the problem is that he was too much after working on dropping KP rather than focusing on his own cricket. The result can be seen now. Prior's own form has dipped plus injuries & now out of the side. He wanted to keep KP out of the side & has also succeed in that but now he's also out like KP. When you do bad with someone, you can't expect good with you. Tit for tat people say !

Posted by mrmonty on (August 17, 2014, 5:38 GMT)

Best wishes and hope you regain your test spot.

Posted by CricketChat on (August 16, 2014, 17:27 GMT)

Best wishes to Prior for a successful and speedy recovery. With respects to his past achievements, I don't think he can come back into test cricket again next year. T20s, may be, but not to other formats. Eng will move on to next generation of wkt keepers.

Posted by espncricinfomobile on (August 16, 2014, 11:58 GMT)

Buttler has started his career well but I do hope Prior does come back for a few more games, he has been wonderful for England and their best so it would be a huge shame for his international career to end on the low it has been at recently. Maybe if they need some rotation he will come back or have both in at some point to give one of the others a rest

Posted by jmcilhinney on (August 16, 2014, 10:05 GMT)

Wishing Prior all the best but, to be honest, I'm hoping that he doesn't get back into the England team. If he does then it means that Jos Buttler has not lived up to the selectors expectations and that can only be a bad thing for England. It's hard to know how much of Prior's loss of form was due to injury and how much was other factors but it was really quite sad to see someone who's done so much for England brought so low. England cricket and its fans are in his debt but, now that Buttler has been given the chance, he'd probably have to do fairly poorly for a while to lose his spot. By the time Prior is fit and firing again, even if he does manage to get back to his best again, you'd hope that Buttler will have improved further by then.

Posted by Warm_Coffee on (August 16, 2014, 9:36 GMT)

Hate to say this but he has no chance of coming back. Jos Butler has pretty much cemented his place and wicket-keeping skills is getting better and better. Plus obviously he's way young so the future is more important for England I'd say.

Posted by jb633 on (August 16, 2014, 7:18 GMT)

Horrible to say it but Prior will never come back to international cricket. He was a great servant to England over the years though. Just a shame about the last 12 months

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