Alec Swann - A tale of two injuries

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.
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There is nothing that I know of to link Northampton Town’s Alex Nicholls and Somerset’s Craig Kieswetter.

But last Saturday the pair were at opposite ends of a strange sort of spectrum.

Not long after three o’clock, Kieswetter was felled by a David Willey bouncer, leaving an off-putting blood stain on the batting crease and his face in a right mess.

Meanwhile, not too far acorss town at Sileby Rangers’ Fernie Fields home, Nicholls was making his first appearance for the Cobblers since October 2012 when he suffered a horrendous leg injury.

A warming sight for both those who support the town’s football team and anybody who doesn’t have a heart of stone.

That Nicholls is even on a football field again is some achievement, testament to the skill of those who operated on him and to the strength of his willpower and it is to be hoped that his determination can be rewarded by a successful return to competitive action.

As for Kieswetter, who suffered a broken nose and eye socket with an operation to follow, it will be a while before he takes guard again and he’ll need some inner steel when he does.

It would be a particularly brave, or foolhardy, man who doesn’t flinch the next time someone bangs one half way down and Kieswetter, who is a good enough player to make this a one-off, has that hurdle to overcome.

As if often pointed out, injury is part and parcel of all sport, not just the professional game, and you could count on the fingers of no hands now many sportsman have gone through a career completely injury free.

The two instances may be more extreme than the usual and not many would wish either on anybody but they are just the game.

Whatever is said, the mental aspect is the most difficult challenge faced in the aftermath.

‘Will I play again?’, ‘Can I play again?’, ‘Will I be the same player?’, are all doubts that exist and understandably so, after all, when the end of a career is potentially staring you in the eye, how many can stare it down look right through?

For one, the initial obstacle has been negotiated, for the other, it is about to start.

And what matters in all of this is that Nicholls is back and that Kieswetter is able to do the same some time down the line.