James Anderson has revealed the rib injury that ended his tour to South Africa was the most painful of his long career.
Anderson suffered a broken rib in Cape Town sustained through the pressure on his body from bowling rather than any blow.
The England medical staff told Anderson they had never seen such an injury before caused by bowling but believe it should have healed within a month. Anderson hopes to be fit for the Sri Lanka tour in March but England may leave him out to concentrate on getting fit for the summer given he only took one wicket in a series there last year.
“I was in the most pain I’ve ever been in on a cricket field. I couldn’t pull through properly. It was hurting every time I bowled, so I knew there was something not right,” he told the BBC Tailenders podcast. “I was saying to Stuart Broad, ‘I think there’s something really wrong here’. I thought I’d ripped a muscle off the rib, so a broken rib isn’t the worst outcome. A torn muscle would be anywhere from two, three or four months. A broken rib will hopefully be healed in three or four weeks.
“The first question the physio asked was if I had been hit – in the nets or landing on it fielding… I’d have remembered if I’d been hit. They think it is through the constant force of me bowling. The muscles were strong enough, but the bone wasn’t.
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