Morne Morkel says he disregarded medical advice to quit cricket

15 February 2017 - 18:19
By Mahlatse Mphahlele

Proteas fast bowler Morne Morkel has said he disregarded professional medical advice to end his career three months ago following a bulging disc injury on his back.

Speaking at SuperSport Park on Wednesday where he was preparing with the Titans for the opening match of the Momentum One Day Cup against the Dolphins on Friday‚ Morkel disclosed that he was told he would not be able to play cricket again.

“No one was 100% sure of what was going on with my back and to be honest there was a time when I was in doubt about my future‚” he said.

“I was told that I would never be able to play cricket again and it was a mental thing to go to the gym. One doctor actually told me that my days as a player were numbered which was not a nice thing to hear.”

  • Proteas' Morris looks to go beyond Eden Park's odd boundariesEden Park in Auckland is the only rugby stadium in regular use as an international cricket venue‚ which helps explain why South Africans with bats and balls know the place better than their compatriots with odd shaped balls. 

Morkel said that he sought a further opinion from other doctors and found a group of doctors in Cape Town who treated and advised him well on his path to his rehabilitation.

The fast bowler last played a Test match for the Proteas against England in January 2016‚ his last ODI for South Africa was against the West Indies in Bridgetown in June last year and he last featured in a T20 match against New Zealand in August 2015.

Having fully recovered from the injury that has robbed him months of international action‚ Morkel will play his first competitive match since October last year against the Dolphins on Friday in Centurion.

“I am very excited about getting the opportunity to play again – it has been three long months of rehabilitation‚” he said.

“The most important thing is not to put myself under pressure. I just need to find my feet and rhythm.”

  • Proteas approach New Zealand tour with a fresher outlookThe last South African test squad that went to New Zealand had a vice-captain who doesn't seem to want to play in the longest format much these days. 

Morkel‚ who has taken 242 wickets after 71 Test matches for South Africa‚ said he had bowled in the nets for the past few days without discomfort.

“I have been throwing the ball nicely‚ I am comfortable and my body just needs to get cricket fitness again with all the rehabilitation that I have been doing over the past couple of months.

“I will play in the next three Momemtum OD matches and see how it goes. It will be wrong of me to put any goals or anything like that about my return to action.

“I just want to go out there on the field and do what I enjoy the most‚ which is bowling and find my feet again without any high expectations.”

- TMG Digital/TMG Sport