Paceman seeks pain-free season
Last updated 12:00 18/07/2012
A fully-fit body isn't too much to ask for fast bowler Bevan Small ahead of the upcoming summer, is it?
Currently at the New Zealand Cricket high performance centre in Lincoln as part of his national winter contract, Small has beaten one injury but is still struggling with what has been his biggest problem during the past couple of years.
He has recovered from the dislocated shoulder that prematurely ended his season in March, and he is awaiting results on scans on a rib that has troubled him over the past few seasons.
"It's just quite annoying how it's such a big pain and it seems like you should be able to do something to get rid of it; but nothing's been able to fix it so far," Small said.
The end of his 11th rib is damaged, which has repeatedly stopped him bowling at 100 per cent the past two and a half years. So it is likely he will have a portion of the rib removed.
A surgeon has looked at it but wanted a second opinion.
Small had an injection in the rib to keep him pain free. But there are still things that need to be figured out because the rib is right over his bowels and there are potential risks with surgery.
He also has to consider when to have the surgery because it will put him out of action for three months.
"I have to talk to the [Central Districts] Stags' management whether I have it done now and miss quite a big portion of the season, or bowl through the season with pain," he said.
His recurring dislocated shoulder was fixed for now - he straps it for training and has put a big emphasis on getting it rehabilitated.
He hasn't tested his injuries out fully with his bowling, but he has started working with Central Districts coach Alan Hunt to start their winter programme, which is mainly batting at the moment.
"I've had a couple of talks with him and he's reassured me the CD group are right behind me with the recovery," Small said.
Small and Adam Milne arrived in Lincoln on Monday for the New Zealand Cricket winter contract programme and will be there for nearly two weeks.
They have already had one camp that was mainly fitness and "pretty bloody tough" according to Small.
It included mountain runs, but this camp is more cricket-orientated as the season approaches.
Milne and Small are there with other up-and-coming cricketers from around the country like George Worker, the former Manawatu and Central Districts opening batsman but now with Canterbury, Hamish Bennett, Corey Anderson, and Ben Wheeler.
They have had people from New Zealand Cricket speak to them about what they expect from the young players in the future.
CD name their contract list for the season this weekend, and Small - who was awarded his first contract last year - was confident of receiving another even with all his injuries, especially with contract numbers increasing from 12 to 14.