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Upminster’s Ison so happy to be back

12:00 25 April 2014

Upminster's Alan Ison gives the thumbs up at the Essex T20 finals day at Billericay (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Upminster's Alan Ison gives the thumbs up at the Essex T20 finals day at Billericay (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League images are subject to DataCo Licencing restrictions

All-rounder feared for cricket future

Upminster's Alan Ison before his spinal surgeryUpminster's Alan Ison before his spinal surgery

Upminster’s Alan Ison feared he might not play cricket again as he waited to go under the knife for spinal surgery last year.

The talented all-rounder had been left in agony due to a slipped disc, but has made a remarkable recovery to return to action this year.

And he is looking to enjoy every game he plays, whether in the Essex League Premier Division or a friendly.

He said: “It started hurting in February 2013, but I tried to play through it. I barely bowled and was taking painkillers.

“I had a month off and then went back for four or five games, but it was unbelievable. I couldn’t do anything.”

Ison played for Upminster in the Essex T20 finals day at Billericay in late July, but it proved the last straw.

He added: “The pain wasn’t as much in my back, but in my right glute and straight down my leg. Then it got really bad and my foot went numb, I thought it was getting serious.

“I didn’t watch any cricket from August. I couldn’t move and couldn’t leave the house.

“The thought did cross my mind that I might not play again. You worry when you can’t walk five metres to go to the toilet. It crosses your mind.

“I went to see a doctor at Hartswood and they gave me an injection just to get me to Queen’s. I had an MRI scan which showed a slipped disc (L5).

“I had an epidural injection, which wasn’t that pleasant, hoping it would work, but a few weeks later and there was not one bit of improvement and they said I needed surgery, which I had on October 3.

“I read up about it and it said I would be walking, pain-free, straight after the operation. I didn’t believe it at the time, but it was bizarre. The next day I was pain free. It was a weird experience.

“My mates were great, visiting me in hospital, and my brother Nick was there every day and kept me going. My mum, dad and nan was always there too.”

Ison had planned to go to Australia to see some of the Ashes series, but was forced to shelve those plans.

It might have proved a blessing in disguise as he was able to rest and focus on his own fitness.

He added: “I went back to see the doctor on January 8 and he said I could do what I wanted, within reason!

“I did a bit of physio and the first net was so much fun. I really missed cricket and just having a bat was so good.

“I was a bit rusty and it took three or four nets, but I’m using new equipment thanks to my sponsor AEDOS and it’s a lovely piece of willow, I’m not going to lie!

“Hopefully I’ll be able to bowl a lot more. Just playing again will be great. I only played eight league games last year and want to play as many as I can and enjoy every game as I go.”

Upminster ensured their survival in the top flight on the penultimate weekend of the 2013 season and Ison is hoping to help them climb higher this summer.

He said: “I’d like to do well with the ones in the league and cups. We want to try and get a few more Ws and are looking to improve in the all-day games this year. We did better in the 50-50 games last year.

“I’m captain of the Sunday League team too, hoping to get promoted, which is the only real target.

“I’ve never been so excited to play. It seems so long.”

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