England T20 hero Mark Wood opens up on the gruesome surgery that ended his six-month spell on the sidelines through injury – and teed up his blistering return to action against Pakistan
- Mark Wood describes the surgical procedure that helped fix his injured elbow
- Wood was unable to straighten his arm and needed surgery to solve the issue
- England star threw a 97-mile-per-hour bowl in England’s win over Pakistan
Mark Wood has revealed the surgical procedure that fixed his elbow and allowed England’s fastest bowler to announce his return from a six-month absence with one of the quickest spells in history.
During a ferocious initial two-over burst of his first appearance since the opening Test in the Caribbean in March, Wood matched the 97-mile-per-hour thunderbolt Steve Harmison produced during the 2006-07 Perth Ashes match.
He removed Thursday’s centurion Babar Azam for eight, contributed to Pakistan lurching out of the powerplay four wickets down and plunged them towards a 63-run defeat, that means England head into this afternoon’s fourth Twenty20 2-1 up.
Mark Wood has revealed the gruesome surgery he needed to make sure he’s elbow was fixed
The England bowler threw a record-equalling 97-mile-per-hour ball against Pakistan on Friday
Despite the limited workload, he said his efforts during figures of 4-0-24-3 on Friday had left him feeling tired, but reassured that a second operation in July had solved an issue from initial surgery in the spring.
Following a comeback in league cricket, Wood could not straighten his right arm and, with next month’s Twenty20 World Cup in mind, was soon in the presence of the specialist again. ‘I mentioned I felt it more bowling away swing,’ said Wood. ‘So when he knocked me out, he was turning my wrist and a ligament kept flapping into my joint all the time.
‘They took all the bits of bone fragment out of my arm but the main problem was this ligament trapped in my joint. So he cut the ligament off and since then it’s been fine.’ Among English bowlers, he is an anomaly: his record of 41 Test wickets at under 25 runs apiece overseas is a significant upgrade in his figures at home. Now he is ready to graft across three Tests this December.
‘If they want me, I’ll be ready to go,’ he said. ‘The Test performances have given me belief in all the formats because, if you can do it at that level, I feel I can do it at any level.’
England stand-in captain Moeen Ali was pleased to see Mark Wood return to form for the side
Wood has praised England’s Harry Brook and compared him his style of play to AB de Villiers