“I’m at a point where cortisol is no longer beneficial to my body, so surgery is always a last resort.” – Du Plessis, Faf

Faf du Plessis will have surgery for a tennis elbow issue that has plagued him for the past two years. During this time, the South African team used cortisone injections as a temporary treatment, but it appears that things have progressed to the point where a long-term solution is preferable.

Because of his choice to have surgery, the 39-year-old had to abandon the existing Caribbean Premier League season midway, with his side, St Lucia Kings, now atop the points standings. In five games, the squad had two wins, one defeat, and two no-results, with Du Plessis scoring 112 runs in three innings.

“Happy with the results, but obviously sad [that] I’m leaving at a crucial stage in the tournament when you feel like the team can start doing some really good things in the tournament,” du Plessis said after the St. Lucia Kings’ recent game.

“My challenge with the elbow is that I’ve had it (tennis elbow) for almost two years and eight cortisone injections into it.” So I’m at a point where cortisol is no longer beneficial to my body, which is why surgery is always a last resort. I didn’t want to do it, but I now have time off. I basically have to go from here to get off the plane and into the hospital to get the procedure.”

One of Du Plessis’s recent resurgences in T20 cricket has been his desire in the PowerPlay in the shortest format. Du Plessis has been dominant in the first half of the Indian Premier League, the SA20, and the ongoing CPL.

“[During] the last while, I did feel a little bit of power loss – all because of the pain, which sometimes pulls the power back,” du Plessis explained. “So you just have to play a game where you feel like maybe hitting at 80% power, and [on] fields like this [in the CPL], which are a little bit smaller, you can just time the ball.”

Due to Du Plessis’ departure, the St. Lucia Kings will be led by Sikandar Raza for the balance of the season. Losing a vital player who is also the captain is never ideal for any team, but Du Plessis believes the group has enough leaders to manage things and has thrown his support behind Raza to do so.

“Raza has a lot of T20 and T10 cricket experience.” So there’s a lot of expertise there; it’s fantastic to have those individuals on the field and asking questions. Obviously, there is a change, and perhaps a significant difference, because it is someone stepping into the shoes for the first time with the St Lucia Kings. But, thankfully, we have someone like Sammy who will ensure that there is some direction from his side for the first one or two games. And then put your trust in the guy on the field with the resources he has.”

“It’s always about bringing people along for the ride and encouraging them to ask questions.” And I believe that’s the case”The best way to run things, in my opinion,” du Plessis added. “You make use of the resources you have.” Roston Chase has been fantastic. On the field, I’m just talking to him about local players and asking him questions. Johnson Charles is a brilliant cricket mind. He’s not a big talker, but he’s a tremendous thinker.