Marcus Trescothick: Injury is frustrating, but I'm still hopeful for this season
FACING six weeks on the sidelines while my Somerset team shape our LV County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 campaigns is frustrating to say the least.
What could have been a tremendous victory at Trent Bridge last week was marred first by my ankle injury and then by a combination of Chris Read, pictured, and the weather.
It was a fantastic effort by the players to deprive a team of Nottinghamshire's calibre of even a single bonus point.
Had it not been for a fantastic century by Read and the amount of time lost to rain we would probably have collected 24 points and our opponents none.
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That wasn't to be and my memories of the drawn game will more likely centre on a return of the problem with my right ankle, which caused me to miss the last three Championship matches of last season.
I was standing at slip to George Dockrell's bowling last Friday when a ball hit the batsman's pads and went behind the wicket. I turned to chase it and in mid-stride it felt as though something had hit me on the ankle. My first thought was that wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter had thrown a glove at me for some reason, so I turned around to ask him what he was playing at.
It was then that I realised that something had happened to my ankle which had nothing to do with any contact. The physiotherapist came out and we tried one or two things, but I couldn't get my shoe back on so I had to go off.
It wasn't too bad walking straight, but the minute I tried to twist or go up on my toes a pain hit me. I put my foot in an ice bucket and went off to hospital in mid-afternoon for a scan.
The person who did it said that she could see something on the back of the ankle so I was quickly given an indication that there was a problem. It was then a case of awaiting the full results of the scan on Monday and discussing them with the surgeon and specialist I had dealt with before, one based in Exeter and the other in Taunton.
They compared the scans with ones I had previously. Originally it was thought there was a bit of bone bruising, but then it became apparent that there was an extension of a tendon tear, which could only be repaired by surgery.
The injury I suffered to the same ankle towards the end of last summer seemed to have repaired itself after a period of rest and that is why I did not have an operation during the winter.
Shortly before the start of this season I started to feel some discomfort again, but we felt the problem could be managed by a series of injections.
They seemed to be working okay until last week. Whatever I did at Trent Bridge tipped things over the edge and it became clear that surgery was the only answer.
The plan is for me to go into hospital today and, hopefully, be out again by this evening if all goes well. I will then have two weeks in a cast up to my knee and take things from there when it comes off.
The recovery period is estimated at six weeks so, hopefully, I will be fit by the time Somerset's Twenty20 campaign starts in June. But I am not setting myself any targets at this stage.
There is never good time to be injured and over the course of my career I have found that they usually strike at the worst possible time. I remember breaking a thumb at a time when my England career was going really nicely and everything seemed to be set fair.
Now this has happened just when Somerset have made our best start to a County Championship season for a while. We beat Middlesex, might easily have defeated Warwickshire and were robbed by the weather at Trent Bridge.
Our fitness record at the club in recent seasons has been superb and I would almost go as far as to say we have been lucky. But this season we have picked up a few injuries and it will be a test of our squad in the weeks ahead.
Mine is something I am going to have to manage for the rest of my career. I happen to have very unusual feet, with extremely high arches and strange toes. I walk on the outside of my feet, which puts added stress on the tendons running down the side of the legs.
The operation I am now having on my right ankle is the same as I had on the left one at the end of the 2008 season so I know pretty much what to expect.
But don't start writing me off just yet. Next winter I might have more surgery to remove some of the bone spurs that build up over years of playing professional sport.
I certainly have no plans to retire. This is just a minor setback in the big plan, which is to play for four or five more years.
I feel I still have a lot to achieve in the game and my enthusiasm for it is undiminished so as long as my body holds out I'll be around for a while yet.
Before the injury I had planned to talk about England's prospects for the summer in this column. That's the subject I'll concentrate on next week.
Interview: Richard Latham