England spinner Graeme Swann believes his recovery from elbow surgery has gone “perfectly” as he prepares to make his return next week.
Northampton-born Swann was forced home from England’s tour of New Zealand on the opening day of the first Test on March 6 before going under the knife in the United States.
The 34-year-old former Northants man had “13 or 14” pieces of bone removed but, after bowling in the nets this week, is set to return for Nottinghamshire in their LV= County Championship match against Durham which starts on Monday.
“The elbow feels great,” Swann told reporters at a Cricket Foundation event to celebrate the two millionth child to play cricket through their Chance to Shine campaign.
“I’ve been bowling with it over the last two days in the nets and it has never felt better. The aim was always for me to come back on Monday against Durham and that is what is going to happen.
“I was just bored with stupid bowling in the nets and wanted to get back in the game.
“I was actually hoping to play this week against Derby but it just swelled up a little bit and I was told to get back in my box.
“I’m very happy now but this is the last time in my career I will have elbow surgery.”
Swann initially underwent a similar operation in 2009 when 29 fragments of bone were removed.
When he was diagnosed with the problem again in New Zealand there were some fears over his fitness ahead of an Ashes summer, but he is now set to be ready with time to spare for New Zealand’s return visit.
And while the off-spinner said he had some tough days during his recovery he is raring to return for the first Test against the Black Caps at Lord’s on May 16.
“You go through a mixture of emotions,” he said about his recuperation.
“You have the panic, then the optimism, then the odd pessimistic day pops its head out of nowhere.
“But the surgery wasn’t as serious as last time and my rehab has gone perfectly.”