‘The Bullet’ hails Bafana doc’s healing powers

2011-04-09 18:37

Reigning world 800m ­champion Mbualeni Mulaudzi has credited Bafana Bafana doctor Ephraim Nematswerani for his recovery from a foot ­injury.

Mulaudzi was conspicuous by his absence throughout the ­domestic Yellow Pages track and field season, as well as the SA Senior Championships, which took place in Durban yesterday.

He said he had hoped to race in at least three Yellow Pages events this season, including the interprovincial events, but an “irritation” on his Achilles tendon interrupted a training programme that took off in ­November.

But the 30-year-old middle-distance runner and ­Nematswerani were optimistic that the Central Gauteng ­Athletics’ man would recover fully ahead of the IAAF World Athletics Championships where he will defend his title in ­Daegu, South Korea, in five months time.

“I really wanted to start on Saturday (yesterday) but I am not race fit,” said the man ­aptly nicknamed “The Bullet”.

“I began my training in ­November and my problems started in the second week of February when I felt some irritation on my right Achilles tendon.

Luckily, the scan revealed that there was no damage to muscles,” said Mulaudzi who last competed in July last year.

“In fact, when I looked back I felt that I didn’t get the right advice until I consulted with Doctor Nematswerani. He ­advised me to rest and now I am in good shape since I returned to training two weeks ago. I believe five months is enough time for me to be fit again and line up in the World Championships,” he said.

Nematswerani said Mulaudzi complained about a pain at the back of his right ankle.

“We did MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and ultra-sound scans to make sure that we established the exact diagnosis. It turned out that there was no serious damage but just inflammation of the tendon.

“I gave him an injection and advised him to rest for seven to 14 days.”

Nematswerani, a sports ­physician who also doubles as the Moroka Swallows team doctor, said he and a team of other specialists would monitor the runner until he was fully fit to defend his ­title in ­Daegu.

The injury-prone Mulaudzi missed a number of crucial athletics meetings in the 2010 calendar. He was omitted from the team that went to the Commonwealth Games in India due to back and hamstring problems.

The same injuries forced him out of the 800m final at the African championships in ­Kenya in July.
“I go through the same experience every year but I have
developed a strong mentality to overcome these challenges,” he said.

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