Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Shane Watson: Ripped & Torn

The Village Cricketer has posted his ODI XI of the most annoying international cricketers. If I were compiling such a list, I would be sure to include Shane "Watto/Swatson" Watson. Not because of his theatrics (or lack thereof) on the field, but for his frustrating proneness to soft tissue injuries that take an inordinate amount of time to fully heal.

Shane Watson has once again been sidelined with a soft-tissue injury, this time of the calf. Apparently, he has already torn the other calf a few months ago. I wonder if Swatson has that rather peculiar affliction where certain muscles and bones need to be broken before they reach their optimal strength. I think they call it Watto's Disease.

Apparently, so unique is the man that Australian Physiotherapist Alex Kountouris offered that SWatson does not even hit the gym. Those perfectly sculpted pecks, bi's and shoulders have been bestowed upon his fragile legs since birth - thats the rumour doing the rounds at present, anyway.

So while Merv Hughes consoles the young man after his most recent adventure to the sick bay, Australian team management must be wondering the same thing as the team's supporters: how long can we persist with such a fragile character?

Hughes is full of admiration for the young lad. Who wouldn't be for a man who can "bat in the top six and bowl pretty well at 140km/h." Point is, all that comes to nothing when he is continually forced to limp off the field with a rip or a tear every 10 matches. What if he returns for a semi-final against a rampaging Sanath Jayasuriya and his band of plucky Sri Lankans, only to break down again?

In a rather odd turn of events, questions are now being raised as to whether Swatson's "Adonis"-like frame is contributing to his ever-expanding list of injuries. It was not that long ago that the Aussies were talking about beefing up to avoid the said injuries. Has that strategy been unceremoniously ditched already?

Given Swatson's history, I am not overly optimistic about the "two week" theory. Either way, here's to wishing the poor kid and his mildly torn calf a quick and lasting recovery.

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