Forced to pull out of the 2019 ICC World Cup in England and Wales, West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell will undergo surgery on his left knee on Wednesday (June 26) and will return to Jamaica soon after.
Russell, who has had knee problems before, played four of the six games for the Windies and complained of discomfort on multiple occasions and has been replaced by batsman Sunil Ambris for the remainder of the tournament.
“Obviously, any player is going to be disappointed to be injured in a World Cup. Playing at the highest stage, that player would want to do well, but this knee issue has been going on for a while now,” a disheartened Russell told the Jamaica Observer.
“Once it's (the surgery) successful it will make me stay on the park longer, and I definitely will be a fitter Andre Russell. The knees have been giving me problems for years now, [but] when I get back I'll be a better cricketer in terms of my fitness level.
“I think it's a blessing for me to get the surgery done; it's a minor surgery. With the arthritis that I have in my knee they are going to try to reduce the pain and stiffness that I feel,” the Jamaican continued, while watching yesterday's contest between Bangladesh and Afghanistan on television.
He explained that the operation, which is called a keyhole surgery or laparoscopy, will involve small cuts near the affected area so that the surgeon can “go in with a camera to clean up the area, with all the damaged tissues”.
Russell, who had been in prime form in white-ball cricket before the World Cup, was an injury worry due to his knees from the beginning and he even missed games against England due to sore knees.
The all-rounder finished the World Cup with five wickets, however did not bowl his full quota of 10 overs in any game and was underwhelming with the bat, tallying only 36 runs in three innings
“Doing this surgery now here in Manchester and cleaning up my knee is [important]. I went to do an assessment the other day, and I got an idea what needs to be done. I'll basically walk out of the [operation] room. I'll just not [be able to] play because the knee will be weak, plus I'll need to do rehab and stuff. I'll need to work hard to get back the strength in my knees,” Russell explained
A highly sought after player in T20 franchise cricket around the globe, he said he is considering undergoing surgery on the other knee.
“It all depends on how the left one heals. Because it's a surgery that requires a short recovery time, if I need to do one on the right I'll do it — but it's just like testing the waters to see if it will work for me.
“I know I suffer from the same kind of stiffness in both knees. This one (left knee) has been acting up really bad for the last couple of weeks, so when I get back to recovery then I'll think about doing the other one,” he said.