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Kent Cricket all-rounder Matt Coles says a winter not playing because of a foot injury may benefit him long term

By Alex Hoad

Matt Coles admits his foot injury is a source of huge frustration but says his winter on the sidelines may benefit Kent in 2016.

The 25-year-old all-rounder went under the knife in London on October 19 and had a 2.5cm metal pin inserted in his right foot after fracturing a metatarsal during the charity fundraising Big Bike Ride II from Cornwall to London the previous week.

Player-of-the-year Coles admits he had sustained the injury in “a bit of a silly way – stepping off a kerb”.

Matt Coles Picture: Barry Goodwin
Matt Coles Picture: Barry Goodwin

He said: “I rolled my ankle and heard a pop. It wasn’t for about an hour that I started to feel it – when we came to a hill I couldn’t push down on the pedal. Fortunately, we had some amazing medical staff on hand with us.”

The injury put paid to Coles’s hopes of being signed in the auction ahead of the Bangladesh Premier League, which has been ongoing since mid-November, culminating in the final on Tuesday.

Coles said: “I spent four weeks in a protective boot and it was only last week that I went back to hospital for the check-up and got the all-clear.

“It has been massively frustrating and feels like time wasted. I had hoped to go off and play during the winter – I just want to do what I do best. Instead, I was laid up.

“I’ve managed to do a bit of fitness work, mainly sitting-down boxing – I wasn’t able to do anything weight-bearing. The recovery has gone well, though, and I want to start running from now and hopefully I will be able to start bowling work in the middle of January. I am not far away.”

Coles claimed six wickets in Kent’s LV= County Championship Division 2 win at Glamorgan in September to reach 100 for the season in all competitions, the most by a Kent player since Martin Saggers finished with 110 in 2002.

The Maidstone-born all-rounder, who only rejoined the club from Hampshire a year ago, finished with 67 scalps in 13 Championship matches at an average of 23.49 and a strike rate of 38.7, with a further 16 in eight Royal London One-Day Cup appearances and 17 in 13 NatWest T20 Blast games.

“Fortunately, the injury is on my back foot, not my front one, so it shouldn’t have too much of an impact when I bowl,” said Coles.

“I suppose the bright side of being injured is that my body gets a rest after the long season we had. I guess it’s a silver lining.

"Hopefully, I might be able to get away in the new year and get a bit of bowling somewhere.
“I think a lot of us feel we had unfinished business after the disap­pointment towards the end of the season and we can’t wait to get back.”

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