New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is set to return from a long injury layoff in his side's World Cup warm-up matches, starting in India this week.
The star batter hasn't played any cricket since March when he ruptured the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his right knee while fielding for Gujarat Titans in the IPL. He underwent surgery in April.
"The plan is to be involved in the warm-up games. There is a strong desire to be involved as much as I can," Williamson said ahead of the team's departure to India.
"Basically, it's just wanting to progress what I am doing now – the running, the fielding, time in the middle with the bat." New Zealand will take on Pakistan and South Africa in World Cup warm-up matches on September 29 in Hyderabad and October 2 in Thiruvananthapuram respectively.
They play England in the tournament opener in Ahmedabad on October 5.
Asked if he was still experiencing discomfort, Williamson said: "Not a huge amount.
"Although the load is going to keep increasing, so there is a little bit of an unknown. But it has felt pretty good really in the last few weeks." "Although it's going well, you still have days that vary a little bit. So it's working through those warm-up games to get as much out of it as I can, and as a team, without bothering it too much," he added.
Williamson had played a crucial role in New Zealand's campaign in 2015 and 2019 editions when they reached successive finals.
Talking about the most difficult aspect of his recovery Williamson said: "Not so much the sprinting, more the slowing actually. From sprinting, the braking, a little bit of a change of direction. It's all been part of the plan, and introducing it towards the end of recovery."
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