Faf du Plessis has declared himself ready to return to action after missing nearly three months of cricket due to a concussion he suffered back in June.
Du Plessis will captain the Saint Lucia Kings in the CPL, which got under way on Thursday.
The 37-year-old veteran suffered the concussion while playing in the Pakistan Super League in June.
Du Plessis attempted an early comeback in the inaugural UK-based The Hundred, but struggled to regain full fitness.
“I went over for the first match [in The Hundred] to try and play, but I still suffered quite severe concussion symptoms quite badly and especially with the batting it got worse,” Du Plessis said in an article on Cricinfo.com.
“It’s been three or four weeks since then [during] which I have worked hard in trying to get back to normal with a good rehab programme, and specialists in England helped me with. Today is the last hurdle when [I am] just making sure I pass the full practice at full intensity. And if I do that, then I’ll be ready to play [in his team’s CPL opener].”
“It has been a tough three months,” Du Plessis added, explaining that his concussion was worse than he expected. “I didn’t expect it to take this long and I also didn’t expect it to be quite as severe. But I feel like I am at the end of it, which really is pleasing for myself.
“There’s a lot of cricket this year that I still need to play. As I mentioned earlier, missing three months of cricket is not something that is very nice. So I am just really looking forward to getting back out on the field.
“I think in general we cricketers don’t know too much about concussion. Normally, [you] get hit on the helmet and then someone checks you out – then you either continue batting or you are ready in about a week’s time! So, my expectation was that it was going to take anything between two and four weeks, which obviously it’s been triple of that. It has been a tough for me, but thankfully I am at the end of it now.”