Behrendorff opts for spinal surgery to save career
Australia left-arm quick Jason Behrendorff will go under the knife next week for a radical procedure he hopes can extend his career
8 October 2019, 12:54 PM AEST
Western Australian paceman Jason Behrendorff has taken the plunge and opted for the same radical spinal surgery that resurrected the career of Ashes quick James Pattinson in his search for a long-term solution to his ongoing lower back injury.
Behrendorff has ruled himself out of the entire 2019-20 domestic season and will head to New Zealand next week for the operation.
Behrendorff last week told cricket.com.au that his latest recurrence of back stress fractures initially had him weighing up whether to pull the pin entirely on his career before declaring: "I'm not done yet."
The 29-year-old has battled frequent issues of stress fractures and lower back pain after first suffering the injury in 2015.
He played a leading role in this year's 50-over World Cup in England but returned with increased back pain that did not respond to rest or treatment.
After consultation with specialists and Western Australian Cricket Association and Cricket Australia medical staff, Behrendorff will head to NZ to go under the knife.
"Unfortunately I've had the same injury over the last few years and we've tried a number of things and the injury continues to return," Behrendorff said.
"After a lot of thought and discussion we've decided that surgery is the best opportunity to find a more permanent fix.
"I'm feeling good about the surgery, I've spoken to a number of Aussie and Kiwi bowlers who've had a similar surgery and they were all very positive about the results.
"This particular procedure has had good success rates in other professional pace bowlers with similar reoccurring issues."
Behrendorff has spoken at length with Pattinson, who returned to Test cricket during the Ashes tour after having his recurring back issues solved by the surgery, as well as other fast bowlers who've had similar operations.
"(Red-ball cricket is) probably the furthest thing from my mind at the moment," Behrendorff told cricket.com.au. "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."
The decision to press ahead with the procedure that involves screws and wires being used to bind vertebrae together underlines his resolve to not give up on his career, despite initial thoughts turning to the worst.
"When I hurt it over in England, that thought certainly crossed my mind," Behrendorff told cricket.com.au.
"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."