Being told to rest, put your feet up (literally), and have a few weeks' break would, to many, seem like heaven.

And I count myself amongst the many. Perhaps not the sentiments you might expect but let me explain.

Back in 2002 I snapped a knee ligament four days before the start of the season. I had just returned from the Academy and was looking to make the leap to international player. To say that the world ended on that day for me was not far from the truth.

I then went through ten weeks of both mental and physical torment to emerge a stronger but scarred cricketer. Scarred because I understood the sense of the world racing past as you sit motionless unable to grasp the chances in front of you.

Sporting time happens twice as quickly as real time, a bit like hitting the fast forward button on the video player. A career reaches its peak and fades, a young player becomes an experienced one, all in the blink of an eye. For me it was one of the most depressing times of my life.

So when, during this summer's opening Championship game with Glamorgan, I saw that my left knee was again swollen, that it was making a worrying cracking sound and it felt like I was being shot regularly through the knee cap, the ghosts from 2002 started rampaging through my mind.

Salvation came in the form of a MRI scan which showed a torn muscle rather than anything more serious. Relief is a strange sensation but can be as corporeal as any other, and I felt it surge through my body that day.

Yes, it's terrible to be injured, to feel practically worthless for several weeks, but when my present situation is compared to the potential alternative I'm delighted. Therefore, I count myself lucky to only have a few weeks off!

Times have definitely changed as far as injury management is concerned. When our coach, John Inverarity, first started playing, injuries were taken care of by a "rubber" - an unqualified man with strong forearms and a propensity to grunt a lot. His tools of the trade were a bucket of cold water and a wet towel.

Techniques have changed somewhat but for the majority of injuries the best and often only cure is time. So perhaps the rubber still has a role to play, but I suspect his bucket would contain slightly warmer water with some ylang-ylang or something similar perhaps.

This week Warwickshire take on Middlesex, a team which contains former Bear Alan Richardson. Alan has had an excellent start to his Middlesex career taking seven for 113 on debut against Nottinghamshire, and he has also been chipping in with a few runs down the order. Sometimes a change of scene can re-energise a person and Alan seems to be benefiting from his new surroundings.

Regular Bears fans might not recognise him, however, as he has lost almost a stone in weight. His questionable blond highlights, however, are still a distinguishing feature.

Alan is a solid performer who simply lost the confidence of the management, a regular feature of professional sport. It often comes down to an instinctive feeling as to whether a captain feels a bowler is going to give him what he wants, and for those on the wrong side of such decisions life can seem unjust and inexplicable.

Some people don't come back from such confidencedestroying moments, but Alan has shown a considerable amount of gumption, and converted a knock-back into a golden opportunity. I wish him well this week (to a point, naturally), and hope that his season is more successful than his beloved Stoke City FC.

* Mark Wagh is happy to field your questions or comments. You can contact him at