AB de Villiers has denied that keeping wicket affects his back, despite the prognosis that the wear and tear that sidelined him for three weeks was a result of an increased workload. De Villiers wants to continue as the Test gloveman despite his chronic condition and appears conflicted by what its seriousness may mean for his future in a dual role.
The tour of England - in which De Villiers kept in all three Tests, five ODIs and three T20s - and the World T20, where South Africa played five matches, meant he had three months of continuous action. De Villiers' back took such a beating that Mohammed Moosajee, the team manager, confirmed that if the trip to Sri Lanka had not been a major tournament, de Villiers would have been sent home earlier. Moosajee, who is also a medical doctor, said the cause of the injury was "overuse".
The national management asked for de Villiers to undergo a 21-day rehabilitation programme with no game time. He completed it last Friday and did not play any Champions League T20 matches, which led to him being declared fit for the match against Australia A that starts on Friday. De Villiers is expected to bat at No. 5 and take the gloves in all three Tests on the tour, and is confident his back will hold up.
"They [the media] have made a massive thing out of it. My back's not fractured and there are no missing bones. I've needed rest," de Villiers said defiantly in Sydney, before conceding that the condition has lingered for a while and remains a worry.
"It has been an issue for a long time now. It's something I've got to look after and manage really well for the next few years. I don't believe the keeping has played a massive part in that. I've felt a similar kind of thing with my back when I'm fielding. It's not really the wicketkeeping. I've worked even harder in the field. It has been a few years coming now that this back [problem] has been developing into something serious. That's why I needed a few weeks at home. I've got enough issues with my back to have needed that rest."
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Awesome news!! AB, time to kick some butss!