England’s most consistent strike bowler over past few seasons, Graeme Swann, fears his career may face a lengthy lay-off or even force an early rethink if his elbow injury deteriorates.
The 33-year-old Swann bowled with a cortisone injection in his elbow in the first Test against South Africa at the Oval. His 52 overs bore no fruit as the Proteas piled up 637 for two. The visitors went on to win the match by an innings and 12 runs.
Swann, however, dismissed fears that he might struggle to make the cut for the rest of the series, claiming he was ready to bounce back when the second Test starts on Thursday.
“If it keeps deteriorating, I will undoubtedly have to miss some cricket. But it has not really deteriorated in the last three or four weeks – it feels better than it did. I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. I don't want to have another operation if I can help it because it's horrendous. That is my worst fear at the minute.”
The spinner had his last surgery before the 2009 Ashes series, the surgeon removing 26 pieces of floating bone. Some pieces were left untouched because they were too close to a nerve.
Even with the sharp bouts of pain that he experiences, Swann says he would like to put off the operation for as long as he can.
“I'll have to cross that bridge when I come to it. I'm hoping not because realistically, if I look at the age I am and what have you, if I can just get to the end of my playing days and my arm falls off the next day sort of thing, I'm quite happy with that. I don't want to have another operation if I can help it because it's horrendous.”