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Rance faces long recovery

Veteran Central Stags bowler Seth Rance is weighing up his playing future after undergoing major surgery that will keep him out of cricket for a year.

The 35-year-old former Black Cap is recovering at his Greytown home after undergoing corrective surgery for a rare shoulder injury suffered in the warmup to the Stags T20 Super Smash clash with the Wellington Firebirds at Fitzherbert Park, Palmerston North on December 27.

Rance said the surgeon told him the injury was very unusual and there are only one or two cases a year in New Zealand.

“It’s one that they’ve had in America with cross-fit people and baseball players, so there’s not a lot of research around the recovery and how it looks, so it’s a little bit unknown,” Rance said

“Essentially, I had [for the technical term] my latissimus dorsi ruptured, and then it had a 5cm retraction, so the tendon had completely curled up in my back.”

The broad, flat muscle occupies the majority of the lower posterior thorax. Its primary function is in the upper extremity but it is also considered to be a respiratory accessory muscle.

Rance expects the recovery will see him miss the entire 2023-24 cricket season, and he can’t return to his job as a builder for at least nine months.

“There’s not a lot I can do; it even hurts when I walk. I’m in a sling full-time for six weeks, and then I slowly wean out of it.

“I saw the surgeon on Monday, and there’s a little bit of nerve damage causing some pain, so it’s going to be a long one.

“It is what it is, but I’ve just got to rehab well. This time next year, I might be in a different position where I’m fit, and I’m pushing my case.

Although Rance will be out of action on the cricket field, he is weighing up his options.

“It’s going to provide opportunities in different avenues in what I want to do, and I‘ve got a few irons in the fire,” he said.

“It all depends on how I recover and what the drive is like, and whatnot. I still want to play, but I also need to be realistic that I need to have a life after cricket where I have a body that works, but we’ll see.”

The debilitating injury came when Rance was in prime form, as the leading wicket-taker in the Ford Trophy List A, with 13 wickets after six rounds, and he had scored his highest List A score of 45 against Auckland at New Plymouth.

Medium-pacer Rance had also produced the best-ever bowling figures for a Wairarapa player, taking 9-26 in the district’s first-innings win over Whanganui in October.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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