New Zealand and Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson is hoping to be fit in time to play in this year’s IPL as he spends time in rehabilitation after deciding against surgery for a long-standing elbow injury.
Although no time-frame has been set for his return to competitive cricket, the 31-year-old batter is optimistic of recovering at some point during the white-ball series against the Netherlands in March-April, which could precede the IPL slated to start end of March.
“Last (IPL) season was an example as well, where I wasn’t involved initially and it was elbow-related as well. The franchise was great and supportive of it,” Williamson was quoted as saying by ‘ESPNcricinfo’.
“I’m optimistic that it will continue to improve. The (T20) format, in particular, is slightly more friendly to managing the load. So, we will wait and see, but it is taking steps forward, which is positive.”
He said he is hoping to return to action as soon as possible.
“All the conversations, certainly with New Zealand cricket and Sunrisers who are aware of this…I’ve had it (elbow injury) for a long time now, so this period of time is to try and get it right,” Williamson said.
“It is progressing … there’s still quite a bit of time between now and then, or now and some of the Netherlands games perhaps. There’s nothing definite, but I’m hopeful that I’ll be back on the field as soon as possible.”
“(I spoke to) a number of different people with different thoughts and ways to get rid of it,” he said.
Williamson had come into IPL 2021 carrying an elbow injury. He returned to action for Sunrisers’ fourth game last season, against Punjab Kings at Chepauk.
He then replaced David Warner as captain midway through the season after the side suffered five defeats in six games.
The elbow injury flared up in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in the UAE.
He then sat out the second Test against India in Mumbai, with Tom Latham taking over as captain in his place.
Williamson subsequently missed the home Test series against Bangladesh, and will miss the forthcoming Test series against South Africa as well.
He expressed his frustration at the lengthy injury layoff but pointed out that undergoing surgery would be the “last resort”.
“Cutting it off — thought about it a few times. It has been a very frustrating time really — one of the more frustrating periods in my career,” he said.
“From what I can gather and certainly talking to the professionals is that it doesn’t promise; it’s sort of an absolute last resort and after, if there’s a real requirement of rehab and specific loading because it sort of doesn’t promise…
“This (rehab) is without a doubt the more preferred option at this point of time and hopefully the one that works and gets rid of it. It is tracking in the right direction.”