Adil Rashid was instrumental to England's overwhelming success in the last few years and starred in England's maiden and historic ICC World Cup win this year in July.
The leggie, who is of Pakistani background, played with a shoulder injury throughout the World Cup 2019 and took cortisone injections to ease the pain.
He has been on the fringes after the premier competition and was forced to warm the bench while nursing the nagging injury.
"One was literally a week before the World Cup, one was a month and a half before that. The steroid [cortisone] injection helped a lot," he was quoted as saying by the BBC.
“But you’re never 100 per cent, if you speak to any bowler, no bowler is 100 per cent fit.
It wasn't easy for him to take the field in the physically and emotionally exhausting World Cup campaign but a lot was riding on his shoulders [both metaphorically and literally] and England didn't have quality backups as wrist spinners have always been an aberration in the UK.
“I’m just happy I got through the World Cup, tried to the best of my ability with the shoulder I had and I’m quite happy with how things turned out. “I had to find a way and the injection was the only thing I could do before the World Cup," he shared.
It is an incredible story of preservation and passion for the game as Rashid was not even able to lift his arm properly before the marquee tournament kicked off. He wouldn't have featured in his maiden tournament had he refused steroids.
“If I didn’t take the injection, I don’t reckon I would have played a part because it was actually that bad. Before the injection it was painful. I actually couldn’t lift my arm with the ball.”
Rashid refused surgery and instead took the path of rest and natural recovery to get back his full sleight of hand. The 31-year-old missed the rivetting Ashes affair in which players from both sides feel privileged to play.
One of Yorkshire's favourite son used his recovery time for introspection and also went back to Kashmir, where his parents were born, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake last month that caused 40 casualties. He took part in relief efforts.
“My parents were born there so Kashmir is close to my heart. There was a lot of destruction and at the time I was doing my rehab so it was the perfect opportunity for me to go and see how bad the damage was and for me to actually give a helping hand," remarked Rashid.
“It does put things in perspective. That’s life and death. Our problems are playing a game we enjoy – you have a good day, you have a bad day but that does put things in perspective. There is a bigger picture out there than just sport.
“Myself being a World Cup winner perhaps helps with the profile of the charity but the aim wasn’t for me to raise the profile.”
Saqlain Mushtaq sharing some tips with Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid ©AFP
Rashid took the field on Sunday after 90 days of rest and straight away made a mark by taking two wickets in the six-wicket victory over Black Caps XI at the T20 warm-up game in Lincoln.
He hasn't regained full fitness but he is confident to prevail over the course of T20I series against New Zealand set to begin on Friday in Christchurch.
“From three months ago to now, it’s got a lot better. I would still say it’s not 100 percent but that’s something I’m working towards and hopefully, I can get that soon.
“I’ve still not quite got my snap that I would like, personally. But hopefully that will come as time goes on, maybe before the first T20 my snap might be there, the pace I want to bowl to.