Wednesday, January 30, 2013

62 Days & More Stuart Macgill

62 days and counting, another good day for Joe. He's taking it easy still, but Michelle said that he ran up to the car when she met him out of school this afternoon and when I got home his limp looked less of a limp!

More on Stuart Macgill on his website/Social media site (See below) He'd posted a link to the Guardian (He can't do nothing wrong this bloke - he even reads the Guardian)! where there was an article on the worlds most beautiful cricket grounds. I reckon that the Rec when photographed from the right place is a pretty spectacular pitch so linked in the Rec from this blog and he was in agreement, so B&PCC could potentially use that as a selling point 'The Rec as recommended by Stuart Macgill"!

If you're a wrist spinner or just interested in cricket and want to be in contact with some of the professional players (MS Dhoni is on there along with some of the other Aussies from the 2005 era) contact him via his Google + page and see if he'll let you in, at the moment its open invites all round. He's got something planned for Feb 22nd which may be something video based (Although I'm not 100% certain), but it's something he's been working on and is getting really excited about releasing. So have a look and sign up...

Stuart Macgill has got to be the most approachable professional cricket player on the web. Sign up to his Google + site and if you're a wrist spinner, the chances are he'll communicate with you.

Monday, January 28, 2013

63 Days

Good day for Joe, back to school today. The school kept him busy and accomodated our desire to keep him out of the playground for this week till he's been back to the clinic and had the go ahead to start normal activities.

This evening despite the bandage he was bending his leg massively - suggesting that the wounds have healed well and he's not that bothered about them. The limp is most definitely there, but I'm not overly concerned with 63 days to go. I should film the limp, so that I can plot its regression over the coming weeks. I'll have to get that done and post it up on Youtube. I've also got a feeling the bandage isn't going to last the week, as it's already slipping down during the day.

Messages from Stuart

I recently emailed Stuart Macgill asking him about his training schedule when he was younger and how it was managed and organised, from both a pro perspective and his own take on what he felt was needed. On the forums that I write on, we've often discussed what is required by way of training? It's increasingly obvious that in the professional arena, the academies, clubs and national teams are recognising that in most instances there's some recognition that a Wrist Spinners career comes to a peak at a much later stage in life than other types of bowlers. This is in part down to the fact that there is so much to potentially learn with regards the skills required, along with the strategies, but increasingly there seems to be a recognition of the fact that maturity and experience play an awful big part in the bowlers success and that a Wrist Spinner will play his bowl his best beyond his 30th birthday. In recent years I've watched Adil Rashid and Steve Smith be touted as up and coming Wrist Spinners only to see them crash and burn through exposure to the international arena potentially far too early.

We've questioned how much spin bowling would these lads have done running up to their inclusion in their national team, we've laughed at the England hopefuls that were dragged out into the middle to join Shane Warne a few years ago during the test series, they looked little more than club cricketers in comparison with Warne! If you read the biographies and books of the likes of Grimmett and Philpott, you'll read about how much time they spent as boys through to adulthood honing their skills and it was an awful lot. These days kids have so many more distractions, so can you get away with far less practice and training like with Warne? But, you then have to think that Warne was a freak of nature and is not a good example with whom to compare and judge yourself against. Whereas Stuart Macgill is a modern example of excellence with an untold story as far as I'm aware and I'm definitely eager to here about his rise to success. One of the forum posters 'Macca' who resides in the Sydney area and knows about this stuff recently posted...

macgill came from a legspin/cricket family. Taught by his father ( his dad had the grimmett books and his grandfather knew and played against grimmett) and bowled both legspin and seam until about age ten then decided to concentrate on legspin.

So he was an early starter. He always had an outstanding strike rate from junior through to test level.

Read more:

I've had a look around to see if I can find more on Stuart and have come up with this article about him, but it doesn't focus on his cricket a great deal and goes over the same old terriotry that you always hear about. But, there's a little more in there about his background.

His reply is good news for anyone that is interested in Wrist Spin and its future, the Wrist Spin community mourned the recent loss of Terry Jenner, (Shane Warnes mentor) and on the forums we all discussed whether there was anyone that would step forward and take on the role that Jenner performed. Jenner, was a massive amabassador for Wrist Spinning, not only involved in the development of the art in Australia, but travelling all round the cricketing nations of the world passing on the skills to pro's and kids alike, including us here in the UK. I was poised to attend one of his sessions here in Essex when he was struck down by the heart attack that eventually led to his death. Stuart has just recently taken up a role working officially with young spinners in Australia and he's mentioned a promising young bloke called Joe Carroll who he found via Youtube. He's got Joe into the Australian academy, so we'll have to watch out for him in the future and see how he gets on.

Stuarts been busy with a new website that he's working on and I've just linked in with it and I'm waiting for him to verify my membership, I'll check to see if he wants more people getting involved and joining up (Which I'm sure he will) and I'll post the link here and on the forums I write on. He's a busy bloke as I'm sure everyone can appreciate and probably innundated with emails and questions, I'm just always gob-smacked when he writes back to me and how much detail he goes into and deeply appreciative of it, I said to a bloke at work today who shoots film and teaches Video & TV "It would be like Martin Scorcese or Steven Spielberg emailing you"! Despite his schedule, Stuart's  promised to answer my questions on training and when he does, I'll post up what he says.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

64 Days to go & Pre-season prep


Yesterday was a good day, by the end of the day Joe had ditched the crutch and was walking around just supoprting himself using the walls and tables. He gets up and down the stairs okay on his own using the rail, so things are going well. This morning a giant psychological leap forward happened that he wasn't even aware of, which is the best way for it to happen, so I didn't even mention it. Prior to the accident if you're keeping up with this in previous entries, you'll remember he was of the opinion that the removal of the pins had rendered his leg now weak and that was the reason that he was limping. The bash on the knee has now meant that he's pre-occupied with that and the negative thought regarding the strength/weakness of the actual tibia have faded. I'm hoping that once the wounds have sealed and the bandage has come off, without having thought about the tibia for more than a couple of weeks, he'll just get on with it and that should be a big leap forward.

The images are from this morning. Top one is the pin removal scar that wasn't damaged in the fall, the middle images is the leg as it is once bandaged, this is there primarily to prevent him from bending his leg and straining the other wound and opening it up. The bottom image is the one that was damaged in the fall.


I've just been out in the garage and digging around in the wardrobes and drawers getting together his cricket gear ready for the first net session of the year. It should have been last week, but that was cancelled because of the same snow that Joe had his accident in. While I was outside getting the stuff together Ben came out and bowled a few balls and  hit a few off some chuck downs I did with him and is really enthusiastic about the prospect of having a bowl at least. He's probably grown a few more inches since last season and is certainly stronger than he was last year and he's now at the stage in life where he's more competitive and is showing more of an intrinsic desire to do well and win, without at the same time getting wound up (I hope) when it doesn't come together. If he keeps that frame of mind intact during the season he'll do okay I reckon, but I'm really looking forward to seeing how he does, because I know he's feeling excited about seeing how fast he can bowl this year!

I'm hoping this year he can do a little better with the bat or at least view it in a more positive light, as I think the competition amongst the bowling attack in the U15's is going to be very strong and he needs to improve another aspect of his game.


I've not been to adult nets yet and if I do it'll have to be a low level starting point and look to build up over the coming two months. I've started to do some basic fitness and strength training, but very piecemeal at this point and I've got issues with my foot still and my calf muscles. I've been to the Quack with regards to the foot and that may be resolved quite easily with an in-step pad in my trainers. What that would do is distribute the weight more equally across the foot and take some of the pressure off the front of the foot (pads) where the pain is occuring.


Before we'd gone off to nets, I'd gone through a list of who might be in the U15's and was looking at it thinking - strewth, there's a lot of blokes there chasing after just a few games! Then once we got to nets I had another look around at who was where and had a chat with some of the parents and realised that there was even more than I imagined. It sounds as though there are potentially 20 blokes that are going to be hoping (With some justification) that they're going to get a game every week! But then at the end of the session talking to the coaches, there's another competition been added to their calender and this is an Under 16's comp that'll be played on Sunday afternoons which is a 40 over format.

So, from what I've gleaned so far, it sounds as though...

Thursday - T20 area cup matches between local clubs (U15's)
Saturday - 4th XI league competition (Adults)
Sunday - 40 over U16's
Weekday evening - School cricket training.
Weekday evening - school cricket matches (15-20 over format)
Weekday evening - U15's training.

All that alongside the need to keep on top of school work and attend Karate classes, it sounds like a busy week for the likes of Kieran and Ben!

But it does sound like there's loads of scope for cricket, it'll be interesting to see if Ben will want to play Saturday 4th XI's with me and whether he'll get selected for the U16's team.


There wasn't any U13's that I noticed other than Harry and Frank Farrington, Joe would have been there if his leg was back in action, but talking to the coaches, it sounds as though there's a bit of a shortage of U13's this season and the team will have to be bolstered by U11 players. We'll have to watch how that goes this season.

Adult nets

Are on Sunday PM 2-4pm at Fitzwymarc school, this'll be a fiver. So if I go I'll have to leave early to get to Ben's session.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

65 Days

March 1st is 65 days away and I'm hoping that Joe will be running around like a normal kid by then, playing basket ball, back to his Karate sessions, playing cricket, football and riding his bike. Yesterday with the pulling around of the pin exit holes and the whole sensation of not having the plaster on he was a bit flaky. Now he's had 12 hours sleep and inevitably mobilised his knee joint while he was asleep, he's woken up seeing that the knee has been bent and has started the day with some renewed optimism. He came downstairs without the aid of his crutch and has since been walking around albeit with a massive limp without the crutch. In his own words "I think I'm almost back to the stage where I was before going into hospital". I reckon by the end of the weekend, he may be getting there, but there's a little more work to do as yet.

Last night I got Joe laying down on his back and tried to get him doing a few leg raises on his back, they didn't go so well (No strength in the thighs or a perception). On his side was a different matter and he got through 5 or 6 easily and I was happy that he just did a few.

I'm going to try and get him to stand feet apart today and catch a training ball either side of him so it puts a little weigh though the bad leg as he shifts his weight emphasis from one side to the other. All relatively gentle stuff at these stage so as not to disturb the steri strips.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Good news for Joe

I'm just back from the Fracture Clinic with the confirmation as to whether Joe has broken his leg again. Initially the Fracture clinic were unaware of the new situation and Joe had to go and have another Xray. This time they did the whole of his lower leg to include both the new and the old injury.

We were taken off  a room just outside Mr Wakeman's (Joe's surgeon) and left to wait for a while. We sat fingers crossed awaiting the outcome. Mr Wakeman came in. Michelle asked...
 "Has he broken his leg again"?
"No, not as far as I can see", and then he went on to explain what may have caused the confusion.

He took us into the room and brought up the Xray on the computer monitor, on the screen was a massively blown up image of the tibia, right at the top where the meniscus connects.
On the Xray, you could clearly see the whole of the plateau edge and it was clear of any damage, cracks or otherwise...
"Now if I zoom out so that you can see more of the Tibia"... Mr Wakeman zoomed out so that most of the top end of the Tibia was visible, he pointed at the screen, "You see this mark here"... We looked and there on the bone, in a length-wise configuration, just below the plateau, was a line. "This line is a result of the bone beginning to grow around the pins and is the mark that's been left by the removal of the pins. I can only guess, the surgeon on Sunday has seen this and has been unsure about what it was, hence the confusion. There's nothing else there, as you can see that indicates any damage". He continued... "The swelling and the pain was probably down the fact that the fall ripped open the wound and the stitching. The wound inside is far worse than the wound on the surface. When the pins were removed, we had to insert equipment into that little hole and then dig around in the tissue to find and grip the end of the pins and then wiggle the pins out of their increasingly secure position where they were starting to become embedded into the bone. The surface wounds will heal far sooner than the internal wounds and the bash has obvious not only dislodged the surface wounds, but has probably done the same to any healing that had started to happen internally".

Man was we relieved! They removed the plaster and re-dressed the wounds and it was obvious that he was far more concerned with the fact that the stitch hadn't been replaced. The wounds were cleaned up again and 'Steris strips' put on to close up the wounds. With no weight bearing on that leg over the last week, Joe's lost the confidence and possibly the muscle bulk, to take his weight or lift the leg, so from a physio perspective he's probably gone backwards a couple of weeks. He's now got a bandage around the knee to restrict the bending and this is primarily in order to keep the 'Steri-strips' from coming free. With regards weight bearing and general use of the leg, he's got to take it easy and he's been given the go-ahead to go back to school, but if it snows or the ice returns, we may have to re-think that. If the weather is fine he can go back, but he's not allowed out in the playground and he can't do any PE. We've got another appointment at the same time next week to monitor how things are going, but this is no longer with regards to the bones, this is all about the healing of the wounds externally in the first instance. Once they're closed up, I would imagine they'll then reinstate the physio regime and Joe will be back on track. I'm hoping that come the end of March, Joe will be running around, playing cricket, football, basket-ball and doing Karate again. But in the short term he's literally got to find his feet again.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Disaster - Joe

Yesterday Joe was out in the snow and slipped on the ice and landed on his knee (Bad leg). He landed in the region where the stitches are and the leg swelled up really quickly. We took him straight to hospital and 6 hours later and God knows how many assessments and an Xray later we had a couple of surgeons come in and vaguely suggest that he's probably damaged his Tibia at the top, on the edge of the plateau. Having had dodgy knees I had some sense that this was pretty serious. They then offered the option of either having a cast or not, I opted for a cast as a precaution. Because we're scheduled to see the Surgeon on Friday, it was decided that we'd wait till then before having a proper diagnosis and they kind of seemed reluctant to tread on the toes of someone that was already working with the leg. The advice when we left was to keep the weight off the leg for at least 24 hours.

Since coming home I've looked up what it may be and the prognosis doesn't look good especially in view of the fact that in six weeks time Joe would have been free to start doing sport again and getting back to normal. If it is fractured and its on the edge of the Tibia plateau it's a really serious break albeit small. It seems because it's broken behind the cruciate ligament and at a point where all the bodies weight goes through and does so in a dynamic way, this break is (1). Difficult to operate on. (2). In a really important load bearing part of the body. This means that if it is diagnosed as being broken, form what I've seen on the internet, Joe will be back in a full length cast for  some time and not able to put any weight through his leg for up to 3-4 months. I'd imagine that the situation will then exacerbate the situation with the existing Tib/Fib break and prolong his recovery from both for at least the whole of the summer.

I'm just praying that the xray was showing up something that is a result of the recent operation and that there isn't any break or if there is a break is a crack type fracture with no bone having come away from the tibia. If there is, it looks as though it'll be another op and more pins. I am devastated, I was so looking forward to a summer of cricket and surfing with Joe and Ben and it looks like there's a chance that's all runined.

Additionally this causes problems with school as well and all the things indoors with regards sleeping  arrangements. Other issues will be that because Joe's leg is in plaster he can't massage his scars either and he's also got a ecszema type condition on his leg which he has to apply cream to, that's now covered by the plaster too.

All this is speculation of course, Michelle has called the surgeon today to see if our appointment can be brought forward, so as soon as I know anything more I'll update.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Lance Armstrong - Disgusting human being

Up to a certain point in my life I always had bikes and now I go into Decathlon and look at the racing bikes and think I'd like one of them again. When I bought Joe and Ben BMX's and other Mickey Mouse bikes, I had one eye on the racers thinking, we should be buying them those instead of these. In 1975 one day on the marshes near our school, I found a rusty racing bike dumped in the long grass behind a row of houses. I picked it up and was surprised at how light and big it was, looking at it I could see that it was different to any bike I'd ever seen, it was a racing bike, that was obvious, but it had a massive Chainset, but no deraileur. On closer inspection I noticed that the rearblock was single speed but tiny, this I realised was a bike built for speed. The back brake seemed to have been dismantled and removed completely leaving only the front brake. I pulled it out of the long grass and onto the pathway and tried to put the chain back on, but even this was weird as the chainset seemed to be seized one way, I got it on though realising that the wheel turned just one way. As I wheeled the bike along towards the road to give it a go, I noticed that the chainset turned as I went along instead of free-wheeling, and  I recalled from some vague reference point in my life that this bike was a fixed wheel bike, probably used for track racing.

Once on the road I managed to get on it and cycled on the flat tyres a little to see how it felt and it seemed there was promise. The rims were straight, it was a bit rusty and one or two spokes were missing. The seat was a stupidly thin one with the name 'Brooks' on the back of it. Over the coming months I cleaned it up replaced some of the spokes and the brake rubbers and started to develop calf and thigh muscles like never before. The bike took 3-400 yards to get up to somewhere near top speed because of the gear combo, but man was this a fast bike! Over the coming years I cycled everywhere with it. When I left school in 1976 I got on my bike and cycled to my Nans house in Hastings, averaging 20 mph. Drivers that I used to work with in Tilbury docks claimed to have clocked me cycling at 45mph!

I had the bike for a few years and bought a 10 gear racing bike in 1977 and I can't recall what happened to the 'Fixy', It probably was stolen, but I've not no recollection of that happening. But what I do recall was how much I loved cycling and how I could go faster than anyone else that I knew. I repeated the Hastings trip several years later with a group of mates, going via Camber sands and returning via Ashford, all in one day. As much as I could I tried to get them to cycle in a Peleton using the same stream-lining tactics I'd seen in the Tour De France, they humored me, doing it a little, but knew that there was no way that they'd be able to keep up with me.

In the 1980's & 90's I would watch the Tour De France in awe of their stamina and strength, especially the mountain specialists and I still think of these long distance races as being one of the greatest sporting events ever. I've never got that obsessed with it, but was always aware of it and noted the names Laurent Fignon, Greg LemondMiguel IndurainLuc LeblancJan Ullrich,  Bjarne Riis, & Claudio Chiappucci. and more. The riegn of Indurain and his total dominance kind of put me off it a bit and Armstrong similarly, what was the point of watching if it was already a foregone conclusion and then there was the drugs aspect of it. Fortunately I was never that hooked on it, but I could have so easily been as I do love cycling and I'd loved to have been in a cycling club and it's still something I consider every now and then.

I didn't see the Oprah Winfrey interview and wouldn't want to watch it to give the bloke viewing figures and my time. His actions haven't impacted on my life at all other than turning me off of watching the race, but leading up the race I read a short piece by Rebecca Cooke who had just retired and started to get some sense of how much of an absolute scumbag this bloke is. A couple of days ago I saw Rebecca Cooke interviewed on the BBC on their breakfast program and I wanted her to resort to swearing in order to demonstrate how disgusted she was. But being British she'd never resort to such a thing.

Tonight trolling around the BBC website I found this and read the comments at the end by the followers of the sport and I ended up in tears reading what the people were saying. Looking further again I found this piece where Cooke speaks about it and again I sat there in tears...

Cooke makes the point elsewhere, that kids that take this sport up make massive sacrifices, as do their families to pursue their dreams to be like Armstrong. Those same people off the back of their committment and training make their way up the ladder of success, only to get so far because they don't take drugs. All their committment, which inlcudes a financial investment comes to little or nothing or renders them debt ridden for the rest of their lives chasing their dreams. Their dreams and successes are thwarted by the likes of Armstrong who reap the financial rewards. Armstrong by the looks of it is a very wealthy man off the back of cheating.

Lance Armstrong is scum.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Joe update


As I expected, Joe’s taken a few steps backwards psychologically. Rather than focus on the fact that it’s only going to be a matter of a week or so and the scar wounds will cease to hurt and be virtually healed, he’s pre-occupied with the idea, that now the pins have been removed his leg is so weak again he can no longer walk and today he was off to his Great Nans with a crutch. At the moment even with us cajoling him, he wont put any significant weight through his leg. In the short term I’m not overly concerned, as in the days since the op he’s been gradually bending his knee more and more and therefore increasing his mobility. He went through a stage because of the rigid knee where he though his leg was twisted, but with the increased mobility with his knee this fear has diminished. The only reason he’s not moving the knee joint is that the ‘Entry’ wounds are still fresh and tender so any movement in that area means the stitches are strained, so that’s understandable, but we can’t let him develop a psychological concept where he convinces himself that without the pins his leg is weak and next to useless. Thankfully the physio appointment is pretty soon and those girls don’t muck about and they’ll have him in tears initially, but they’ll get him back on track and doing physio.

There’s obviously some cause for caution though and that’s the reason I’m not pushing him too far because I have no medical concept of where the injury is at, but they have clearly stated that he cannot do any contact sports, and he can’t run around, kick balls or do anything  active in the short term. I don’t know if that’s on the basis of something they have observed looking at his Xrays on an individual basis, or whether that’s just common sense precautions applied to anyone in this situation and a way of easing him slowly to the stage where the full recovery and sports can resume, which at the moment sound like mid to late Feb (6 weeks from Op day).

I’m going to have to contact his PE teachers at school and make sure they know the situation and don’t go putting him in goal again!

The next day

Joe had a good day when I made the entry above, spent most of the day on his feet and bending his knee, helped by the fact that the bandage has come off now and enabling him to bend his knee more. This morning he was sitting watching the tele with his knee bent at 90 degrees, so, good progress. He’s still walking around as though he’s still fearful of his leg breaking – limping, but Michelle said that during the day he was being told to put more weight through his leg by everyone and she says that he has been albeit slowly. I reckon in time it’ll come good and needless to say when the Physio’s get hold of him they’ll push him a lot further.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Joe - no more pins!

Up early today and drove through the sleet, to get to the Hospital for 08.00. When we got there, it seemed that the appointments had been made so quickly the nurses on the ward didn't even have records of who we were, but they soon sorted it out and we were allocated a bed.

A surgeon and an aneathetist soon turned up drew arrows on his leg and sorted out the skin ready for the canula to be put in. After some checks, around about 09.00 I went down to theatre with him, but, that was after we'd gone through the usual worse case scenario  talk. In this case it was...

1. The bone could be fused to the metal and the removal might prove to be so intrusive so as to not warrant its removal and therefore it may stay in.
2. The metal might break and he may have to have bits of it left in there.

The canula went in fine and he was out for the count. Then it was a case of 1/2 hour plus recovery time if it goes well and no problems or up to 1.5 hours + recovery time if it doesn't go so well plus recovery time. Thankfully, on the hour we got the call to go down to the recovery room and everything had gone well, with the pins coming out easily. Once back to the ward Joe said that the only bit that was hurting was the entry/exit holes where the pins had been removed from. With one of these, they'd been able to re-open it exactly at the point where it had gone in, but the second one they'd had to create a new hole, so that'll be another small 10mm scar. But, that was it, the fact that two bits of metal had been pulled through his flesh either side of his tibia didn't seem to be an issue.

Within the next hour he was eating and drinking and then at lunch he had a full dinner. After lunch we had notifcation that there wouldn't be a physio coming round to see him, so we decided that after what happened last April, we'd get him started with getting out of bed and up on his feet as soon as possible so as not to lapsed into a state of self pity. We knew that once he sat on the edge of the bed after all the drugs and lying down for a few hours he'd feel sick and sure enough he did, but once he was over that, he soon decided that he needed to go to the toilet, so seizing the chance to set him off on the right route we made him walk to the toilet with virtually no assistance!

The nurse soon came across again and said... "As he's doing so well, I'll get the release forms and you can go". So we were out of there by 2.30pm. While I was getting the car the consultant saw Michelle and gave her a lists of do's and dont's.

No sport, contact games or running for the next six weeks.
Yes get the weight on the leg ASAP
The bandage can come off in two days time.
The protective film that's on the wounds stays on till the next appointment at the Fracture Clinic (Next Friday).
Keep the leg out of the shower/bath till the clinic appointment.
Physio is next Wednesday.

So it looks like we're into the next and hopefully final phase of Joe's recovery. Talking to him today he was saying that when he runs and is active he's been able to feel the pins below the skin. So fingers crossed the limp will over the summer and by the end of the summer he'll be playing cricket and surfing in Cornwall.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Pre Op check for Joe

I've been at the hospital this morning with Michelle and Joe for the pre-op briefing. Everything sounds okay apart from the recovery time. For some reason the impression we had was that he'd be at the hospital for a day and that was it. I've already said previously that I was wondering how it would leave Joe feeling and speculated that perhaps he'd be back on crutches for a while, but today the nurse said that he'd be at home for 2 weeks recovering which is a bit of a shock as we both work and we're now having to consider taking more time off. The only caveat was that the nurse said that the consultant would give us more specific times, but I have been on-line looking at forums (Motorcycle accidents) and their experiences and it looks as though it may be a 2 week off period...

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Joe update and general news

I'm getting a little slack with this at the moment. although cricket-wise there's not a lot going on to be fair, but I'll get back to that in a minute.


Just before Christmas we attended the fracture clinic for another assessment of Joe's leg and to see whether his pins could be removed soon as the expectation would be that the remaining calcium growth that needed to happen in the little gap would have happened by now. Sure enough the xrays were done and the surgeon was more than pleased at the progress and said that we'd get an appointment for a day in January.

The procedure will mean general aneasthetic will be used and the legs opened up again at the small scars where the pins went in back on April 6th 2012. Obviously they'll be as inobtrusive as possible and the scars will heal in a similar small size. The likelyhood is that Joe will have to rest all of the day, perhaps over-night as well if he ends up suffering any pain, but on the other-hand the procedure may go so well, he'll be able to leave in the afternoon or evening.

I have no idea of how this is going to go pain-wise, I'm hoping that it's going to be nothing like back in April/May where Joe suffered a lot. It also strikes me that it may affect him psychologically, he may believe that the pins are holding his leg together and with the removal he may feel that he's been set back? I've not said anything about this and I'm hoping that he'll get up and carry on as usual and that perhaps there wont be any need for physio's to be on hand to get him walking again?

What upsets me though, looking at these Xrays is that it looks like his bones from this angle appear to be offset and not aligned that well? Whether that's just a perception of mine or a reality I don't know, but I suppose I have to be greatful that he's alive and that the damage isn't worse. But deep down it worries me that he is still limping. Looking at these images and knowing how badly the body needs to alligned correctly in order to function well, I'm wondering whether it may be the case that he is going to end up with a permanent limp. The hospital is very non-commital with these aspects of the recovery, always refering back to the fact that being young he has very good potential for a very good recovery, so I suppose I can't dwell on this and will have to hope that next Monday (We had notification today) all goes well and with the pins out and a the recovery being predicted as a year or longer, the limp will gradually fade as he reaches the full recovery period.

Cricket prospects this year

I've spoken about body alignment above in the section about Joe from a position of possible knowledge. Added to the other two ailments and conditions I've developed in the last year that may scupper my chances of being active this year in the sport I've got an additional condition. My right foot has developed a dull pain/ache on the pads between the points in the image below (White crosses) A & B. The sensation is more 'Uncomfortable' than painful and it gives a sense that it will become painful and therefore there's a desire to scrunch the toes up in order to alleviate the pain/sensation.

Previously I'd suffered Plantar Fasciitis (see below) where the main muscles/tendons connect the toes to the heels, this series of muscles needs to be flexible, but become compromised by the tightening of calf muscles in my case, and the tightness causes tearing in the muscle fibres between the toe and heel and around the heel.

Feeling the plantar of my right foot I can feel what seems to be either a knot or scar tissue  mid-foot. Which is a result of my previous episode? I'm not suffering the same symptoms this time and I reckon it may be due to over-compensating for some kind of in-balance in my stance and the way I walk. Incidentally I had some photo's shot at a studio where I had to stand upright and straight and the photographer commented that I wasn't standing straight. Additionally, as a part of keeping the PF at bay I massage my calf muscles sporadically and I've noticed that the calf muscles on my left leg are ridiculously tight and knotted. I reckon a visit to the Doctor is on the cards otherwise I can see this year being a write off.


Ben will be 15 this year and obviously becoming more and more of an independent person trying to find his own identity and way through life, seperate from his Dad (me) and his brother, so there's the potential that he could easily drift away from cricket which I hope don't happen, I'm still holding out for that chance to play in a few games with him. But a couple of days ago we had a few chuck downs and he picked up the bat and he looked in good touch "Haven't lost the ability to bowl yet Dad", being a positive comment he made that I was pleased about. So, hopefully we'll be able to drag him away from Youtube as the season arrives and get him doing some stuff?

Eye-in bat.

I had an old bat in the garage that had a split up one side and I took that into work and a bloke cut it down for me,making it into one of those eye-in bats for Joe. It's got a nice feel to it despite being cut down slightly for Joe's height. Hopefully as Joe recovers he'll get some use out of it and his batting may improve a little.