Morne Morkel. Picture: REUTERS
Morne Morkel. Picture: REUTERS

Proteas fast bowler Morné Morkel said he disregarded professional medical advice to end his career three months ago following a bulging disc injury on his back.

Speaking at SuperSport Park on Wednesday where he was preparing with the Titans for the opening match of the Momentum One-Day Cup against the Dolphins on Friday‚ Morkel said he was told he would not be able to play cricket again.

"No one was 100% sure of what was going on with my back and to be honest there was a time when I was in doubt about my future‚" he said.

"I was told that I would never be able to play cricket again and it was a mental thing to go to the gym. One doctor actually told me that my days as a player were numbered which was not a nice thing to hear."

Morkel said he sought further opinions and found a group of doctors in Cape Town who treated and advised him on his path to rehabilitation.

The fast bowler last played a Test match for the Proteas against England in January 2016‚ his last ODI for SA was against the West Indies in Bridgetown in June and he last featured in a T20 match against New Zealand in August 2015.

Having fully recovered from the injury that has robbed him of months of international action‚ Morkel will play his first competitive match since October 2016 against the Dolphins on Friday in Centurion.

"I am very excited about getting the opportunity to play again – it has been three long months of rehabilitation‚" he said. "The most important thing is not to put myself under pressure. I just need to find my feet and rhythm."

Morkel‚ who has taken 242 wickets in 71 Tests ‚ said he had bowled in the nets for the past few days without discomfort.

"I will play in the next three Momentum ODI matches and see how it goes. It will be wrong of me to put any goals or anything like that about my return to action. I just want to go out there and do what I enjoy the most‚ which is bowling."

TMG Digital

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