South African captain Smith nervous about his comeback

February 12th, 2009 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, Feb 12 (IANS) South African captain Graeme Smith admitted that he is a little nervous about making his return after a surgery ahead of the all-important home series against Australia.
Smith, who is also Cape Cobras captain, will return to action in Friday night’s Pro20 first-leg semi-final against the Dolphins at Newlands.

Smith has not played since his emotional, courageous innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the third Test against Australia where he batted after peeling off the cast of his injured hand.

Smith has recovered “100 percent” from the hand injury and “hasn’t felt pain in days”, but is still receiving treatment for his long-term tennis elbow injury.

“I am a little bit nervous about Friday night,” Smith said.

“It’s never easy coming into a team and captaining and also not being able to play the way you want. But I’ll draw on my experience of how I prepared for big occasions in the past when I was successful, and hopefully I can take that into the game,” Smith was quoted as saying in the Cape Times.

He is feeling a bit tentative about playing in front of what is expected to be a capacity Newlands crowd.

“It’s always been wonderful playing at Newlands. The stadium is home to me and the people have always treated me well here. I am looking forward to making my return at my home ground.”

He, therefore, took a cautious approach to his first net session as the Cobras continued their preparations at Newlands.

“I did feel a little bit rusty, I guess,” he said.

“It was about getting confidence and movements back. As the day’s gone on, I’ve felt more and more happy.”

“The knuckle injury has healed nicely and feels pretty much 100 percent. Obviously taking another blow there would be rather sore! And I’ve just had a period getting over the bruising from a second (blood) injection in my elbow,” Smith said.

“It’s just about hoping it holds now; taking it as it comes, as I have. If I need to go for surgery further down the line, then so be it.” he added.

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