New Zealand news February 4, 2016

Recovering McClenaghan makes plans to return to training

ESPNcricinfo staff
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Mitchell McClenaghan: 'It went very, very close to going into my brain, had fragments in the sinus cavity' © Getty Images

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."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Min2000 on February 5, 2016, 7:31 GMT

    Every good fast bowler should have at least one good scar on their face.

  • Gappy on February 4, 2016, 22:57 GMT

    @HARSH295 - Read the comment, he did not take the new model.

  • NZAsif on February 4, 2016, 22:00 GMT

    Get well soon mate, we need you in T20 World cup

  • CricketChat on February 4, 2016, 20:02 GMT

    Good to know the injury is not very serious and that he is feeling healthy enough to start training soon. I am sure he would use better helmets next time around. Nothing is a worse feeling than seeing a sportsperson/entertainer hurt in the line of profession.

  • RvelZahid on February 4, 2016, 18:35 GMT

    It's a shocker, it was merely in 120s kph

  • Shajadul on February 4, 2016, 17:09 GMT

    I hope you get well soon McClenaghan with double spirit. Best wishes from Bangladesh.

  • r.tg on February 4, 2016, 16:48 GMT

    Sad to see another healthy human got injured severely. Unfortunately modern cricket is more about power than prowess.

  • Harsh295 on February 4, 2016, 16:05 GMT

    I would think they would test the gap of their grill by holding a ball against it, but apparently not.

  • TUSHAR-M on February 4, 2016, 15:08 GMT

    Well you live and learn. Lucky he did not lose his eye. Good Luck and God speed on you recovery. Please don't push it and heal well before you come back in full force. Obviously the Black Caps are going to miss you this summer.

  • EdwinD on February 4, 2016, 14:09 GMT

    Broad seems to have recovered from his similar injury after a year - hopefully McC will pull through quicker. I still can never understand the point of a helmet if the ball can get through? How could they have got through any certification??

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