Proteas physiotherapist cautions against players 'going too hard'

Craig Govender (Getty)
Craig Govender (Getty)

Proteas physiotherapist Craig Govender has stressed the importance of the national players not going "too hard" at training after the lockdown. 

An extended squad of 45 players of national interest returned to training with their franchises on Monday and, speaking on Friday, Govender said he was extremely pleased with the condition of the players and the work they had put in during over three months of lockdown so far. 

Players can only train in small groups, but given the long lay-off, there is the risk that they could over-exert themselves before they have built up their conditioning levels to a high enough standard. 

It is something that Govender and the rest of the Proteas medical team is aware of and players are being monitored closely. 

"Not being with the players these last few months has been a challenge," Govender said.

"I had to trust them to do the activities that had been put in place for them. It was quite nice to see that all of them have done what they were supposed to. We're always communicating, so if there were problems we have been rectifying them but overall, things look extremely good and I am very happy with the shape the players have returned in.

"But we also have to put some rope around the guys and make them understand that they can't go really hard. They still need to make sure they need to have all those muscles activated before activity.

"They need to build up and get their bodies in tune with the requirements, so it's about progression and very good warm ups will be essential and that's something we will be emphasising as training resumes. 

"Everything has to be done progressively. So for instance, with the bowlers we can't get them to go straight out of the block. We have to do it in a phased system and that's pretty important." 

Govender was also pleased to see that players carrying injury niggles prior to lockdown now appear to be over those problems.

"Each one had a programme and that has obviously allowed guys to get much better during this period," he said.

"They obviously allowed their bodies to rest and get these certain areas better over time."

Most of the players in the high performance squad will be participating in the 3Team Cricket Solidarity Cup  scheduled for Nelson Mandela International Day (18 July, 2020).

That event is set to be South Africa's first live professional sport since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown around 100 days ago. 

- Compiled by Lloyd Burnard

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