Reece Topley is taking nothing for granted regarding his involvement in the defence of England’s World Cup title in India following an injury-blighted career.
The 29-year-old left-arm quick has suffered four separate stress fractures in his back.
But having overcome those injuries, he seemed all set to feature in last year’s Twenty20 World Cup in Australia only to be ruled out by a freak trip over a boundary cushion ahead of England’s final warm-up match.
The ensuing ankle ligament damage meant he was reduced to the role of a long-distance spectator as England added the T20 global title to their 50-over crown.
Having regained fitness, the 6ft 7in (2.01 metres) paceman dislocated his shoulder at the Indian Premier League in April.
And with the start of the 50-over World Cup in India now less than a month away, Topley admitted: “You could say I have a bit of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) about getting on the plane again because it was pretty emotional coming back from the last (World Cup) injured.
“But injuries happen in sport. You can only do so much to prevent them. I don’t really think about it too much. It’s just the nature of it: you get good days and bad days at the minute.
“As you get older, the injuries do get a bit harder to come back from — just the nature of just being years older. It’s not like you won’t ever come back from it, it’s just always a bit trickier.”
Reece Topley has been included in England’s provisional World Cup squad following a fine home season last year.
But having gone wicketless in four one-day internationals, he starred with 3-27 in the 2nd ODI against New Zealand at Southampton on Sunday as England levelled the four-match series at 1-1 with a 79-run win in a rain-affected match.
Topley, who took 13 wickets in seven ODIs in the last English season at an impressive average of 16.38, said: “I’ve got to thank the guys for showing that what I did last year didn’t go unnoticed.
“My record in the format is pretty good. I like to think that I can contribute whenever needed. It’s nice to be finding my feet again, hopefully just at the right time for India,” he added ahead of Wednesday’s third ODI against New Zealand at The Oval.
England, however, have several seam-bowling options to call upon, with two other left-arm quicks in Sam Curran and David Willey among those vying for a place with Reece Topley in England’s final 15-strong squad for the World Cup.
“I can only do so much as a new-ball and death bowler that it’s hard to leave me out,” said Topley, the son of former Essex seamer Don Topley.
“That’s what all of us in the changing room want to do is just to make those decisions tough, but with the talent that we have, it’s always going be a tough decision — for the 15, or the 11.”