Carberry return timed to perfection

Michael Carberry, centre, will give Hampshire a boost on his return to Championship duty today
Michael Carberry, centre, will give Hampshire a boost on his return to Championship duty today
Gareth Berg

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Fit-again Michael Carberry is ready to provide the final spark to Hampshire’s quest for glory ahead of a pivotal period for the club.

The gifted batsman returned to the side for the CB40 win over Surrey at the weekend after recovering from a knee ligament injury that kept him out for six weeks.

And while the left-hander feels he was a victim of bad timing, others believe his return to the Hampshire fold could be the perfect catalyst as the Ageas Bowl outfit chase an unprecedented treble of Championship division two promotion, CB40 success and Friends Life t20 finals day glory.

The next step in the club’s promotion bid is a trip to struggling Leicestershire’s Grace Road, which starts today.

Hampshire are on a roll at the ideal time, after a CB40 success over Surrey followed their stunning win over Northamptonshire.

Carberry said: ‘I’m coming back into all the big games.

‘We’re sitting nicely in the Championship after a great knock from Jimmy Adams against Northants, then we have finals day at the weekend.

‘But before that we have a vitally important Championship game at Leicester.

‘We had the Surrey game [Sunday] and there’s also the Durham game in the CB40 competition [next Monday].

‘There are no easy games in that lot.

‘It was quite a nasty injury but frustrating because the season was just starting to go well. I was starting to get runs in all the competitions and it was just bad timing.

‘But I think there are still things to salvage from this year for me.

‘It depends how you look at it. It’s good to come back at this time to try to have an impact on the games that are coming up.’

Carberry has fully recovered form the blood clots on his lung that threatened his career.

But he had to undergo surgery recently after suffering a knee injury during net practice.

He explained: ‘I tore my knee cartilage ducking a bouncer in the nets.

‘All my injuries seem to be freak injuries. I just ducked a bouncer in the nets, as I have done many times in the past, and my knee just went from underneath me.

‘I heard an almighty crack and that was it really, but I had an operation on it and it’s kept me out for six or seven weeks. Big thanks has got to go to our medical team for getting me back on the park as quickly as they have done.

‘Any time in the middle is vital to me at this point in the season.

‘I wouldn’t say I was on top form against Surrey but the important bit was getting us close to the line.

‘Now we’re ready to go again.’