<
>

Lynn targeting return before playoffs

With Kolkata Knight Riders pursuing a top-two finish in the league stage, batsman Chris Lynn is keen to play a match before the playoffs, ideally targeting a return against either Kings XI Punjab (May 9) or Mumbai Indians (May 13).

Lynn trained with the Knight Riders squad on Tuesday in Kolkata, for the first time since dislocating his shoulder while fielding against Mumbai Indians last month, in his second match of the season.

"The shoulder is slowly getting there," Lynn told cricket.com.au. "I had a cortisone injection the other day and it worked really well. I'd like to ideally play a game or two before the finals. It would be a bit unfair on the team-mates to rock up into a final not having played a game [since the injury]."

Lynn injured his left shoulder while landing awkwardly during a dive in the match against Mumbai. He felt the shoulder pop out of the joint for about 30 seconds, and said he popped it back in himself. It was the third time Lynn had hurt his left shoulder in two years but his concerns went beyond his availability for the IPL: he has been picked in Australia's Champions Trophy squad subject to a fitness assessment.

Scans showed the injury was not as severe as had been expected and Lynn remained with the KKR franchise for his recovery. He worked with Knight Riders' medical staff and Paul Chapman, the strength and conditioning coach of Queensland and Brisbane Heat, who is working with Mumbai Indians.

"We worked out whatever I could do back home, I can do where I am now in Kolkata," Lynn said. "It only makes sense I'm here trying to get fit to play some cricket before heading over to England. There would be nothing worse than going in under-prepared to a world tournament.

"I'm going to have my first bat and I'm feeling really confident it about it. The shoulder has come up really well. It's positive signs but I've still got a long way to go."

Lynn admitted that the multiple shoulder injuries meant he would have to be more careful on the field.

"I can't keep affording to have this time off when I'm hitting the ball so well, it's so frustrating," Lynn said. "I think I might just have to be one of those fielders you hide in the field. But as soon as I start costing the team runs in the field, that's when I've got to have a hard look at it. I think I can still contribute a fair amount with the bat and still be good enough in the ring in the field."

Lynn had made an impressive start to the IPL, hitting an unbeaten 93 off 41 balls against Gujarat Lions and a brisk 32 against Mumbai. Following his injury, KKR used Sunil Narine as an opening batsman.

Knight Riders are currently second on the points table, with seven wins in ten matches. After the match against Rising Pune Supergiant on Wednesday, they will play two away matches - against Royal Challengers Bangalore (May 7) and Kings XI (May 9) - with their final league match at home, against Mumbai (May 13).