Boucher: No hope for quick return

PA Sport
An eye injury sustained during a tour match last month forced Mark Boucher to retire
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An eye injury sustained during a tour match last month forced Mark Boucher to retire

Former South Africa wicketkeeper Mark Boucher admits he is "unlikely to play professional cricket in the near future" as a result of the horrific eye injury he sustained last month.

The 35-year-old had to leave the Test tour of England following the injury he suffered when a bail hit him in the eye in a tour match at Taunton on July 9 and it was confirmed the following day he had retired from international cricket.

Following an emergency operation in England, he flew home for further surgery in Cape Town, with his medical team later reporting they were optimistic Boucher had a "reasonable recovery" of the vision in his left eye.

On Wednesday, Boucher faced the South African media for the first time since the accident and revealed the full extent of the injury in a statement which was also released through Cricket South Africa.

"It has been a difficult time for me mentally and physically," he said. "I have lost the lens, iris and pupil in my left eye. There was severe damage to my retina.

"I have had two major operations and four blood draining operations in the past three weeks and physically, at times, I have been in a lot of pain.

"I believe I am in good hands with my eye specialist and I accept that the healing process is a long one and that attaining some vision in my left eye will take some time and a lot of patience.

"It does get uncomfortable at times and being a sportsman, I want to be active and outdoors but, without a pupil, I find any amount of sunlight very harsh and have thus been restricted to the confines of my home.

"It is unlikely that I will play any professional cricket again in the near future, which is very unfortunate as I was looking forward to contributing as a player for the Cobras.

"The risk of additional damage to my left eye or even damage to the other eye, doesn't warrant it."

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