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‘I feel like I’ve turned a corner’ – Chris Woakes plays down fitness concerns

by Wisden Staff 3 minute read

Chris Woakes believes that his knee troubles will not be an issue during the summer, which features a World Cup and Ashes contest.

The Warwickshire bowler has been a leading presence in his country’s 50-over side over the last few years. Since the 2015 World Cup, only Adil Rashid and Liam Plunkett have taken more than Woakes’ 69 wickets in ODIs for England.

In the recent ODI series against West Indies, which England drew 2-2, Woakes was rested for the second match in a bid to manage his fitness.

Woakes has taken 116 wickets in 84 ODIs

Speaking to Press Association Sport, Woakes explained that a long-standing issue with his right knee has improved thanks to a couple of injections.

“I feel like I’ll still be able to get through constant days of cricket,” said Woakes. “It’s in a better place than it was in the West Indies.

“I just found that in the Caribbean when it flared up a little bit, I struggled to get out of second gear and it just felt like I couldn’t really get going.

Woakes bowled two overs against Bangladesh in the 2017 Champions Trophy before leaving the field with a side injury

“Since getting back it’s been good to have a couple of injections, settle it down, build a bit of strength around it and do a bit of rehab. I feel like I’ve turned a corner with it.”

Woakes was part of England’s squad for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, but only featured in the eight-wicket win over Bangladesh before being ruled out of the rest of the tournament with a side strain.

“You know, injuries are part and parcel of the game and part of professional sport,” added Woakes. “But what happened in the Champions Trophy gives me a little bit of extra motivation to be right for an exciting summer ahead.

“It’s just something which I have to manage and constantly maintain. As a fast bowler you’re always going to have something that’s sore, so if that’s the only thing that’s sore I’ll take that.

“Looking at the schedule moving forward, although there’s a lot of cricket, it’s actually quite spaced out nicely so that shouldn’t be an issue.”

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