New Zealand head coach Gary Stead stated that the skipper, Kane Williamson, is keen on getting back to practice sessions and the following week will determine where he stands in terms of his return to cricket.
Williamson last played in the first Test against India but was subsequently ruled out due to his persistent elbow injury. With New Zealand set to host South Africa next month, he has begun his road back to full fitness.
“Kane is looking forward to starting hitting balls again, hopefully later this week, and once we start getting into that we’ll have a better idea of what the plan is around getting him back for that series or not.“
“It will be very, very low-key at the start. It will be something like 10-minute sessions and it will not be the normal Kane Williamson batting for two or three hours. That’s just a progressive loading programme where we’ll try not to flare up the [elbow] tendon again,” Stead was quoted as saying to Stuff.
Gary Stead hopeful of Williamson leaving the injury behind for good
The current plan for New Zealand is to permanently end Williamson’s elbow injury instead of helping him live with it heading into the future. For this, they have decided not to rush him into anything.
“The idea is to have no pain at all. In the past couple of times, we’ve tried and maybe pushed him a bit early, so we’ve got to be particular around the programme. I hope we can get to a stage where it will be like that, but there’s no guarantee and it’s something we’ve talked about.“
“Kane may just have to adjust how he goes about preparing and maybe not having quite as extensive net sessions in preparation periods. That’s still something to be determined on how the elbow does shape up,” Stead further mentioned.
New Zealand also needs its captain since Tom Latham has been rather lackluster while leading the team. Their recent home series against Bangladesh ended in a 1-1 draw.