Exclusive: Root return pencilled in

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Joe Root has exclusively revealed to GiveMeSport the latest X-ray on his thumb he ‘shattered’ in eight places is recovering well and is aiming to make his comeback for Yorkshire against Middlesex at the end of April at Lord’s.

The England batsman suffered the injury on his way to his maiden One Day International century earlier this month after being struck on the glove from a rising delivery off Ravi Rampaul. The blow means he will miss the World Twenty20 and the opening weeks of the county season ahead of a hugely important summer for English cricket.

After a disappointing winter for all involved in the Ashes party, the next 12 months are seen as crucial in shaping the future of the England side and Root is certain to play a big role in that. After making his debut In India under 18 months ago he has quickly established himself as a key member of the Test, ODI and T20 team and has already made 48 appearances for his country.

The 23-year-old was set to bat at number four in the World Cup whilst also playing a key role with his right arm off-spin, until the injury struck during the important 3rd ODI against West Indies. It didn’t stop him reaching three figures and picking up a wicket though. It was all the more extraordinary considering he sustained the damage after just his third ball of his innings in Antigua.

Speaking exclusively to GiveMeSport after conducting a question and answer session on his Facebook page, Root revealed how he managed to put the pain to one side to help his country to victory.

“It was obviously quite sore at the time and I remember coming off at the rain break and the doc was moving it around - I seemed to have quite a bit of movement there so at the time we didn’t think it was broken. He gave me some painkillers and off I went to try to grit my teeth through it.

“It turned out to be a bit of a mess really with it being shattered in eight places,” the Yorkshireman told GiveMeSport.

“I can’t power hit anyway so I had to try and deflect the ball even more than I usually do. It was quite painful at times and I couldn’t get the power from my bottom hand, so it was about finding a way to cope without forcing the ball.

“In a way I think the injury did help me because I had to manipulate the spin, which is what was needed in that situation. It worked out quite nicely.”

Remarkably, Root then took to the field after scoring 107 from 122 balls and bowled opener Kieran Powell after taking the new ball before leaving the field after taking one wicket from three overs.

“That was more to help the lads and (Stuart) Broady out because we were the fielding side on a good wicket and we needed to defend a score. We had to try and give ourselves options with the ball so if it doesn’t quite work with one bowler then you have overs to play with to use somebody else and not be over-reliant on one individual.

“It was a way of getting three overs out of the way and giving the captain some breathing space if we needed it further into the innings. It was more about making sure I didn’t go for too many runs which didn’t quite go to plan but I managed to sneak in a wicket and it turned out quite well in the end.”

However, Root revealed some positive news regarding his right thumb to GiveMeSport which included a potential comeback at the home of cricket.

“It’s coming along. I’ve had a couple of X-rays now and it seems to be improving, so hopefully that continues.

“I think the cast will be on for the next five weeks or so. I’m looking to make a comeback for the end of April so fingers crossed I’ll be back playing for Yorkshire then.

“The Middlesex game would be my first game back at Lord’s since scoring 180 against Australia. It’s always a great place to play with a really good atmosphere. It’s a very special ground and I really enjoy playing there so if I can play in that game it would be nice.”

The County Championship Division One fixture starts on Sunday 27th April which could be an important fixture with England hopefuls Jonny Bairstow, Gary Ballance, Eoin Morgan, Steven Finn and Lions star Sam Robson all potentially lining up in north London.

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T20 World Cup
Joe Root
England cricket

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