Michael Carberry has been unavailable to Hampshire all season because of a serious health problem, but he still hopes to play again.
The 30-year-old made his England debut in Bangladesh only 15 months ago. But when blood clots were found on his lung in November, his career was under serious threat.
“I had two large blood clots on my lungs which burst so I was lucky they found them,” he said. “I’ve tried to stay positive and the medication’s worked pretty well so far but I’ve taken the decision to get myself right before I play again.
“I do hope to play at some point this year. I’m on the drug Warfarin and that means I could cut or bruise easily. There is other medication out there but it’s whether, in taking that medication, it opens me up to another clot somewhere down the line.
“It’s a bit of a vicious circle so that’s why I’ve decided to get my lungs fully clear before assessing the situation again.”
The original blood clots were discovered shortly before Carberry was due to travel to Australia with the England Performance Programme six months ago.
“When your life is at threat, it does make you look at things differently,” he said. “I could have continued doing something I love and then dropped dead at the wicket. That would have been heartbreaking for my family and the guys who play with me day in, day out.
“As it was, my mum was devastated. She’s medical herself so she understands the risks that came with it. I think she said about three words during the two weeks I was in hospital, she was so scared. But since then I’ve felt a lot better in myself and recently the training’s starting to feel how it should.
“I obviously feel tired as I should after training – but not after a five-minute jog, or getting out of breath climbing up stairs. So, from that perspective, mum’s a lot happier and as a family we’re all pleased I’m on my way back. It’s now a case of how soon we can get back doing the business.
“There’s been a lot of reflecting as well as trying to work out what my next steps are going to be in terms of how long I’m going to play for, if in fact, I do get to play again.
“At this stage my full aim is to play cricket as soon as possible and as safely as I can. How long that will take I don’t really know.”
Carberry has been training to be an electrician during the last six months as he plans for life after cricket. “For the first time in five years I’ve had a break and I’ve tried to use the time wisely,” he added.
“When something like this happens the important thing is not to spend your time moping around but to stay positive and just be pleased you’re alive. As well as getting back to playing as soon as I can, more importantly I want to look after myself.”