Burger takes positives despite season-ending injury setback

Six Gun Grill Western Province fast bowler Nandre Burger has unfortunately effectively been ruled out for the remainder of the season due to an injury to the right side of his lower back sustained during the 4 Day Series match against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins earlier in the season.

WP physiotherapist Shane Jabaar: “An MRI scan on 16 November revealed that Nandre had developed an undisplaced fracture of the pedicle of his L5 vertebra. He has had an 8-week period of rest and healing and will now start a rehabilitation program for a further 2 to 3 weeks before he will start a bowling progression programme lasting 3 to 5 weeks. Providing all goes well and he has no flare up of his symptoms, he could be bowling at full match intensity by the second half of March 2022.”

The 26-year-old Burger, who has always been one to see the positive side of any situation, expressed his disappointment over this injury setback.

“I’d say, for a person of my personality, getting an injury which rules me out for the whole season is quite a tough thing. It took me a day or two to realise that I am not going to be playing again for this season or my chance to play any games this season is pretty much nothing,” he said.

“It was quite difficult to adapt and adjust from the advice I got from Shane of not being able to do anything, no exercise, no walking around – I just had to sit on the couch and I’m not allowed to stretch, not even lift 5kg weights, those are things I’m always doing, I love the outdoors, I love going out to the beach for a swim, take those walks, so not being able to do those things was quite difficult for eight weeks,” he added.

“Now that I am able to start my rehab, that’s a very slow progress, obviously building up really slowly, making sure that everything is done correctly. I need to go for another MRI to see how things are going and make sure I don’t do unnecessary things.”

There has however been a silver lining to this unplanned extended break from cricket.

“I see this as a blessing, no one wants to get injured at all, but I got to spend some time with my family over the festive season in December, something you don’t get to do too much as a sportsman. I’m grateful for that experience. I’ve never had an injury like this before, I had something similar, but I was young, I had a hip operation. I don’t really remember what was going on, but I remember being in a similar rehab where you re-learn everything, you learn to crawl, you learn to walk and to run and you learn to bowl again that type of thing. To see the guys every day excites me again, I miss this experience, being able to train even half an hour or swim – or whatever it is – I am excited to get going again. Those 8 weeks taught me so much about being patient and being grateful for everyday opportunities.”

Six Gun Grill WP Coach Salieg Nackerdien has had to deal with a plethora of selection conundrums this season due to injuries and national call-ups, but he is just happy to see one of his young fast bowlers on the mend and around the team again.

“It’s fantastic to see Nandre back in the field and busy doing his rehab. He’s a wonderful person to work with. I’m very excited to see him doing his strength work and hopefully in our winter he’ll be in better position and hopefully he’ll keep doing all the hard yards in his preparation for the new season. He’s an excellent guy around the team and it’s been wonderful to have him back and around the other guys, I’m very happy for him and the team.”

Six Gun Grill WP welcome the Imperial Lions to Six Gun Grill Newlands for the next CSA 4 Day Series match starting on Thursday, January 27. The squad will be announced tomorrow.