Injured New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner vows to bounce back from injury, extend Test career

Christchurch : Injured New Zealand pacer Neil Wagner has vowed to make a comeback to Test cricket despite doubts over the impact of a torn right hamstring and bulging disc in his back.

Wagner courageously came out to bat, pushing through the pain barrier as he and Kane Williamson helped New Zealand register a last-gasp victory against Sri Lanka in the first Test at the Hagley Oval on Monday.

Despite his injury, Wagner scampered 20 metres to the striker’s end for a bye off the final ball of the test alongside Kane Williamson, who hit 121 not out, as New Zealand pulled off a two-wicket win over Sri Lanka.

Wagner suffered a nasty injury while getting ready to bowl during Sri Lanka’s second innings on Saturday and did not bowl further in the Test. The injury ruled him out of the second Test, starting on Friday, and at least the next 6-10 weeks.

He won’t need surgery, which he said was a silver lining, according to a report in The Black Caps will play their next Test series in November when they tour Bangladesh for two Tests, which is expected to give Wagner enough time to recover from the injury.

Long-injury layoffs are not new for Wagner during his long Test career, which started in 2012, and said is highly motivated for home Tests against Australia and South Africa next summer.

“People might make their predictions and stuff like that and I’ve made a career out of proving people wrong. It’s definitely not the end of me,” he said. “A lot of people said it could be the end of me after my first Test.

I think the day I call it quits is the day I call it quits probably, or when they don’t pick me up again.” Wagner has been dealing with bursitis (a type of inflammation that affects your joints) in his foot since 2014 but had been able to play through it.

He believed the injury he suffered on Saturday may have been because other parts of the body were “overcompensating trying to carry a load”. Before the Test against Sri Lanka, he had a cortisone injection to try and settle the foot pain down.

He is now hoping to recover from this injury as soon as possible and get ready for the next challenge.



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