Vettori confident of playing in quarter-final

Mon, 21 Mar 07:46:44 2011

Daniel Vettori has said he should be fit to play New Zealand's quarter-final against South Africa in Dhaka on Friday.

There was another injury concern for New Zealand, though, as Brendon McCullum revealed he was struggling with a knee injury he picked up in the game against Zimbabwe.

Vettori missed his side's last two games, against Sri Lanka and Canada, after injuring his knee while fielding against Pakistan earlier in the tournament.

"Skill-wise I should be all right to get through the batting and bowling, it is just the running around that is hampering me a little bit," he said after a training session.

"But I still have a few days left and I am confident of being available for that [quarter-final]." The injury is not likely to get worse if Vettori plays, and he said that it was simply a case of putting on a brave face and dealing with a little bit of pain.

"The main thing is being able to try and work around everything else.

I am very confident I will be able to bowl during the quarter-final.

It feels all right bowling but I haven't done it in under pressure conditions and there haven't been any short, sharp, unpredictable movements.

That will be the next step over the next few days." McCullum had torn the cartilage in his right knee during the ten-wicket win over Zimbabwe and managed to keep playing with the aid of anti-inflammatory drugs and a brace.

"I hate the fact this sort of stuff can be used as an excuse," he told the New Zealand Herald.

"The stars are never going to be fully aligned each time you play.

Understand this: it is a World Cup.

If it was a bilateral series then maybe you'd have a few games off but this comes around every four years, so players need to get over it and work through injuries.

There are plenty of people with worse problems and issues than mine." He said the knee was stiff and sore but he believed he could get through the tournament if he took it easy in training.

"That means no warm-up games at practice and restricting wicketkeeping and batting to a minimum.

It [the knee] goes up and down.

It is sore after a game then the pain slowly eases off, meaning I can build up again."


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