Stuart Broad may have to live with his heel injury for the rest of his career, with England's Twenty20 captain admitting he and the medical staff will have to 'manage' the problem to keep him playing at the highest level.
Broad has not played since the second Test in Mumbai in November, where his 0 for 60 was his second consecutive wicketless Test and continued a disappointing end to 2012. Broad was subsequently dropped for just the second time in his career.
The heel problem prevented his return as captain for the T20 series and he also missed last month's ODIs, but he is back in the fold for the series in New Zealand. After a trip to Germany to be fitted with specially designed boots he claims he has felt good in training, and took a hat-trick in a warm-up game, but his admission that the problem is unlikely to go away is a cause of concern.
"It is going to be a long-term thing," Broad said ahead of the opening T20 in Auckland. "It is a laceration of the fat pad so is not going to go away overnight.
It is something I need to manage. It has been good these couple of weeks, I have found good ways to look after it. It is not going to go away with a week's rest or a year's rest."
Broad admits his career path as a fast bowler is an issue on account of the type of injury he has which suggested that he may have to be rested a certain periods.,
"If I did pretty much anything else in the world but bowl seam it would not be a problem, I don't feel it walking or running or batting - it is just fast bowling," he said. "I do not get too down about it. It is something I have to manage. We have a great management team on the physical side.
"We have been speaking to specialists all over the world trying to find out what they can do, but there is no operation or injection suitable for it. It is manageable at the minute.