Luis Reece says his rehab from shoulder and knee surgeries is going well, and that he can’t wait to get stuck into training with a reinvigorated Derbyshire squad.
The all-rounder was one of Derbyshire’s standout-performers in the 2021 Vitality Blast, scoring 351 runs across 12 innings, including four half-centuries, but he struggled to perform in first-class cricket due to right knee and left shoulder issues.
Having missed the final three games of the campaign to undergo surgery, Reece is now working through his rehabilitation programme and hopes to get bat on ball again before March.
While it is unlikely he will be able to bowl until later in the 2022 season, Reece could still return as a batter in the early stages of the campaign, providing his recovery continues as hoped.
While he would rather be working through an intense pre-season training schedule with the rest of the team, Reece admits he would not have been at the required level this year if he did not have the surgeries, as he looks to bounce back stronger than ever.
“It’s obviously frustrating to be on the sidelines and not taking part in the regular winter programme, but [the surgeries] are something that’s needed to be done for a while,” said Reece.
“I think over the least couple of years, to the extent that in 2021, I just could not perform how I wanted to. As much as I wanted to stay on the park, it wasn’t right on myself, the lads or the Club.
“Unfortunately, the injuries were probably slightly worse than we first hoped, but they’ve been well looked after, I’ve seen the relevant people, who have been brilliant, and rehab is going well. I’m moving in the right direction, which at this stage of the winter if all you can hope for.
“I love being around the group, I’m always making myself available for them after rehab because I want to help out where I can. Although I can’t do my day-to-day skill work, I can still offer a lot to the group, as I get closer to a return to training.”
As the squad awaits the arrival of new Head of Cricket, Mickey Arthur, Reece says the work rate within the squad during the current off-season has been hugely impressive.
“We’ve had some changes in the backroom staff, and there’s been a real influx of new energy within the group. The lads are training well and working incredibly hard in the gym and in practice, it looks like we’re really building something,” he added.
“That’s really pleasing, as someone who’s currently watching on and not in the group every day, you can still see that work ethic, and we’re all itching for Mickey to start and get stuck in, but the lads have already got that excitement about him and it’s evident in training.
“Last year was disappointing, but you can spin that as a positive as well, because you can learn from it and use it as a springboard to better things. Hopefully this year we can move on and put those learnings into practice.
“If we can keep building, not just our skills but how we approach the game, and keep changing in the right way, come April we will be in a good place. I think some of the lads have already been surprised by the difference between last year and this year.”
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