Lee: Cummins must avoid ‘cotton wool’

Australia

Former Australia fast bowler Brett Lee has handed out some advice for injury-prone paceman Pat Cummins, saying that wrapping oneself in cotton wool, so to speak, will invite further injuries.

Cummins has been in and out of action for years, since his debut at age 18, and now at 23 is trying to make yet another comeback after a long lay-off, mostly due to back problems.

Lee feels that being tense and overly careful makes a bowler’s body more prone to injury, and that Cummins needs to make sure his whole body is fighting fit before trying to go at full pace.

Lee wrote in a column for Sportsta: “My approach to coming back from an injury when I was Pat’s age was to ensure I was physically ready.

“That meant being strong in the core, not carrying too much excess weight bulk and spending plenty of time on the running track doing sprint work and training hard in the nets.

I always returned ready to ‘go’ because I gave myself every opportunity to do well. You learn to trust yourself and your body to do what it is meant to – bowl very fast.”

He added of being overly careful: “There’s reluctance from some athletes to not push the boundaries quite like they did before their injury because of the fear it might flare up again.

“I’ve seen some bowlers – blokes who could launch rockets – develop a fear of being re-injured and there’s a sense they want to wrap themselves in cotton wool.

“That doesn’t work because it’s like the old golf analogy.

You see, if I’m teeing off and worrying about the water to left of me the more I think about doing everything possible to ensure my ball won’t land in the drink the more likely it is I’ll hear a dreaded ‘splash’.

“Injuries are the same. The more you sweat about them, the more likely you are to finish the day needing a doctor’s appointment.”

Cummins is set to make a comeback in the upcoming Matador One-Day Cup for New South Wales.

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