New Zealand’s captain, Kane Williamson, is gearing up to use the forthcoming warm-up matches as an opportunity to assess his surgically repaired knee in the lead-up to the World Cup. This significant development comes after Williamson endured a knee injury during this year’s IPL.
Kane Williamson is resolute about evaluating the status of his knee in New Zealand’s warm-up fixtures preceding the highly awaited World Cup in India, scheduled for the next month.
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Williamson, who leads the New Zealand cricket team, has undergone an arduous journey of recovery following a severe knee injury, specifically a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his right knee, sidelining him for a substantial duration.
The process of recuperation commenced with surgery in April 2023. Post-surgery, he embarked on a gradual rehabilitation process, even accompanying the team to England to continue refining his fitness. His remarkable progress reached a pivotal point when he resumed batting and faced deliveries by July 5, 2023, marking a promising milestone in his recovery. Nevertheless, he acknowledged that there was still work to be done before making his return to international cricket.
As the countdown to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, slated to unfold in India from October to November, gained momentum, Williamson found himself in a race against time to prove his fitness. A two-week window was granted to him to demonstrate his preparedness for the tournament. Williamson’s determination bore fruit as he made substantial progress, securing a place in New Zealand’s World Cup squad. This announcement, made on September 5, 2023, served as a significant morale booster for the entire team.
Despite not being in optimal physical condition, Williamson expressed his enthusiasm to maximize his participation in the warm-up matches, progressively increasing his workload as the World Cup approaches. The New Zealand captain intends to thoroughly assess the condition of his surgically treated knee during these practice games, as he communicated in his statements to Cricbuzz.
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“I’m highly motivated to contribute as extensively as possible. Essentially, my focus is on advancing my ongoing activities, which include running, fielding, and spending time in the middle with the bat. While there have been fluctuations, overall progress has been positive. The aim is to extract the utmost benefit from the warm-up matches, both individually and collectively as a team, while ensuring the knee isn’t overstrained. Anticipated workload increments may introduce an element of uncertainty, but recent weeks have shown quite promising signs,” elaborated Williamson.
Furthermore, as he prepares for his return to the field after an extended absence, Williamson anticipates potential alterations to his fielding position to align with the team’s requirements.
“We will undoubtedly contemplate certain changes. Traditionally, I have often fielded at mid-off, a position that is likely to remain. It may be slightly more suitable for me than fielding square of the wicket. There’s also the prospect of slip fielding, although I won’t assume that role unless it becomes necessary,” he remarked.