Shauni James is a Rotorua Daily Post reporter

Injured cricketer back in driving seat

RECOVERY: Rotorua cricketer Karl McKnight has been back doing full hours at work for five weeks, and says it is good to be back. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER
RECOVERY: Rotorua cricketer Karl McKnight has been back doing full hours at work for five weeks, and says it is good to be back. PHOTO/STEPHEN PARKER

After being hit in the head with a ball six months ago, Rotorua cricketer Karl McKnight is now back at work full time and looking forward to being able to drive again.

And as the new season nears, Mr McKnight is urging other cricketers to wear helmets when both training and playing.

"Accidents happen and they can happen to anyone."

The Geyser City Cricket Club player suffered swelling to the brain when hit by a delivery while batting in February. He was not wearing a helmet.

Mr McKnight said he would "absolutely" be getting back into cricket this season and the club had already started having meetings.

He said he was looking forward to it, but it would be interesting, especially facing his first short pitched delivery.

In the Western Bay, every batsman now had to wear a helmet, as well as the wicket keepers when standing up to the stumps, he said.

"I believe the Rotorua Cricket Association are doing the same thing."

He said this had always been the case with junior cricket, but now senior cricket was heading that way too.

Meanwhile, Mr McKnight went back to full hours at his work, Red Stag Timber, five weeks ago.

He said he was doing fine, but was not quite so quick on the uptake in terms of memory and quickness to solve problems.

"For me it's a bit of a frustrating thing."

He still got tired if he had a long day and "the brain just doesn't click over as fast as it used to".

"It's really good to be back. I still suffer a bit of mood swings, more than I would normally get."

He said his neurologist had told him it took time for the brain to completely heal, and people who'd had the brain surgery he did had a 25 per cent chance of developing epilepsy for the first two years post-surgery.

His appointments with the neurologist had finished at this stage, unless there were developments, Mr McKnight said.

"It's been a long process."

He said this Saturday would be the "big occasion" where he could drive again, six months after surgery.

Mr McKnight said he had also been riding his mountain bike for some time, and was getting back to full fitness.

He said he enjoyed the biking, though he had to be careful, and he had a couple of big mountain biking events coming up, including the Whaka 100.

ACC had supported him with taxis to work and in preparation for the next cricket season, were looking at giving him a new, modern helmet.

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