Recovering McClenaghan makes plans to return to training
New Zealand fast bowler Mitchell McClenaghan is hoping to begin training again in a "couple of days", as he recovers from the blow he took above the left eye while batting ten days ago, in the series against Pakistan. McClenaghan was floored when a bouncer burst through his helmet grille, and scans revealed a hairline fracture just above the eye.
McClenaghan, who is looking to ease himself back in with some light exercises before returning to bowling in a week's time keeping in mind the World T20 in March, said the injury could have been much worse. "It went very, very close to going into my brain, had fragments in the sinus cavity, so the two plates were put in place to reinforce the orbital bone," he said in Auckland on Thursday. "But I'm hoping the job done [during surgery] is going to mean I'm going to be able to move forward."
Recounting the incident, McClenaghan said he was worried soon after being struck about whether his vision had been affected. "My first thought was, 'Why didn't I hit it?'" he said, according to stuff.co.nz. "Then when I was trying to get [the ball] out, my conscious thought was, 'Can I see?' I realised the impact was above the eye, and I've seen a few cases where people haven't been able to make a comeback from that. I calmed down as soon as knew I was able to see out of the eye."
He said facing up to a pace bowler once again might not be the easiest thing once he returns, but he looked forward to the challenge of overcoming any fear that may creep in. "I know it's going to be hard. The brain works in funny ways in terms of letting you do these kind of things, but I'm pretty confident I'll be able to overcome them. I'm not overly bothered about that. The boys will tell you I'm pretty confident when it comes to throwing the willow around. I love taking the attack to the guys who have bowled to me in the past, I'm looking forward to the challenge."
McClenaghan was wearing an old model of helmet when the accident occurred, in which the space between the grille and the cap of the helmet is wider. He said he had not yet swapped this for a newer helmet - where the gap is narrower to avoid such incidents - despite recommendations from the New Zealand board as he was not yet comfortable with the more restricted field of vision. Now he will look into his helmets, he said. "I'll be looking to try and make sure I get a helmet that fits properly and the same thing can't happen again."