‘I’m not done yet’: Behrendorff begins long road back
After yet another injury setback, World Cup star considered pulling the pin but has since resolved to do whatever it takes to get his body right
5 October 2019, 12:16 PM AEST
Luckless fast bowler Jason Behrendorff concedes he pondered walking away from the game after his latest injury blow, but says he's put "all options on the table" in order to re-boot his stop-start career.
A star of Australia's World Cup campaign, Behrendorff says the same radical surgery that helped launch James Pattinson back into Australia's Test side is a distinct possibility as he looks to finally move past the back injuries that have plagued his career.
The left-armer suffered a recurrence of back stress fractures during a recent stint playing in England and admits the thought of another long stretch on the sidelines had him weighing up whether to pull the pin entirely.
"When I hurt it over in England, that thought certainly crossed my mind," he told cricket.com.au this week.
"Do I actually want to do this? Do I want to keep going? Is it worth it, all the pain you go through (with) your body or through rehab?
"And the thing I kept coming back to was: I'm not done yet.
"I know in myself that I'll do whatever it takes to get back. I'm not exactly sure what that is at this stage. But once I do, I'll put all my eggs in that basket and make sure I'm doing everything I can to get right."
The 29-year-old is better equipped than most to handle life after cricket, with a sports science degree and a young family giving him a solid grounding away from the game.
While comforted by that, he admits giving up on playing remains a daunting prospect.
"Having that to come home to is unbelievable and gives you really good perspective," he said.
"But still, thinking outside of cricket is a scary thought.
"I've been fortunate to play in the state and international system for a few years now and … you never want to give that up.
"It'll be something that will be tough to do when the time comes to give it away and I certainly hope it's later rather than sooner."
Pattinson has spoken glowingly about the work of New Zealand surgeon Grahame Inglis, who has salvaged the Victorian's career as well as those of several Kiwi players with a procedure that involves screws and wires being used to bind vertebrae together.
Behrendorff has spoken to several of Dr Inglis's former patients and says while it won't be an easy decision to opt for such a serious operation, he's willing to go under the knife if it's deemed to be the best course of action.
And while a return to long-form cricket is unlikely in the short term, Pattinson's resurgence has given him some cause for optimism.
"(Red-ball cricket is) probably the furthest thing from my mind at the moment," Behrendorff said. "I hope it's not done, though, especially if I go down the path of surgery.
"We've seen how Patto has come back and played in the recent Ashes series, so maybe it'll give me a chance to do that.
"I've spoken to Patto and I've also spoken to (Sydney Sixers left-armer) Ben Dwarshuis, who's had a similar surgery done, and also (former NZ quick) Shane Bond.
"They've all been very complimentary with what they've had done and the way it's helped them continue to play cricket.
"Unfortunately I've had the same (injury) over the last few years and if that (surgery) is going to be an opportunity to have more of a permanent fix, I'm definitely going to look into it."
Behrendorff is expected to decide on his next course of action in the coming weeks, which will help determine when he'll be available for selection again.