If my Injury Doesn’t Heal During Lockdown, it Never Will: Mark Wood
Mark Wood (© AFP)

England pacer Mark Wood has had a stop-star career so far since making his international debut in 2015 with injuries preventing a consistent run. The latest, a side injury, he picked during the T20Is in South Africa, ruled him out of the subsequent tour of Sri Lanka which eventually was called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

With the deadly virus ensuring a complete shutdown of events globally, Woods is hoping the forced break will give him enough time to sort out his side injury for good.

“Before the coronavirus crisis ramped up, I had the disappointment of being ruled out of the tour to Sri Lanka … The side injury is similar to what I suffered in the World Cup final, just not quite as a severe,” Wood wrote in his column for BBC.

“It’s great when I hear captain Joe Root talk about me being part of the plans for the next Ashes tour, so I’ll be doing everything I can to be on that plane in the winter of 2021. After all, if my side doesn’t heal during a period of lockdown, it never will,” he added.

With the high of making a succesful return to Test cricket against South Africa, Wood carried on playing the T20I series ignoring the signs of trouble. He pushed ahead, making the injury worse which ultimately put him out of action at least till June.

“It was my own fault it happened. I felt it in the second Twenty20 in South Africa, but thought I would be OK to play in the third game. It only made it miles worse,” the 30-year-old admits. “From my point of view, there are some really encouraging signs. I played a lot of cricket in the World Cup, then in South Africa I was able to play back-to-back Tests.”

With coronavirus wreaking havoc globally, causing the death over 80,000 people so far, Wood said the pandemic has burst the bubble in which sportsperson live.

“There are times when professional sportsmen and women exist in our own bubble. The coronavirus crisis has burst that bubble. Instead of thinking about fitness, performance or the next match, our concerns are exactly the same as everyone else’s,” he wrote.

He continued, “It’s a scary time, one that has made me anxious for the health of my family and friends. I’ve worried about my parents and grandparents. I’ve got friends who work in the NHS and it’s so sad to hear what they are going “through, along with all the stress that is being put on hospitals.

Forced to stay indoors, Woods, his following a training regimen to keep himself fit and ready to return to action whenever cricket resumes.

“England have sent us watches that track running, and each player has an individual programme. I’ve learnt that there is absolutely no way to cheat the system – even moving my arm around really fast doesn’t work,” he wrote.

“I’ve been doing online cycling sessions with James Anderson and Stuart Broad, with those two veterans leaving me behind. I’ve asked the strength coach why I can’t keep up, but he was too polite to say it is because I have legs like a tiny sparrow. I haven’t quite figured out what my event is yet, but it could be dancing.”