Teen spin sensation has knee operation
A PROMISING spinning career will be put on hold for nine months when young left-armer tweaker Andrew Phelps checks in for a knee reconstruction tomorrow.The Norths' 15-year-old has filled a role beyond his years as the club's number one spinner in his debut senior season.
But he has lapped up the responsibility and is mature enough to remain positive about his enforced break on the sidelines.
Phelps, who bowls left-arm orthodox with a wickedly fast arm ball, snapped his ACL in a one-off game of rugby league earlier this year.
He was still able to run on it, but must have it operated on soon or risk further injury and the threat of a full knee reconstruction that would put him out of action for good.
Considering it is not causing him any pain Phelps made the Queensland under-15 merit soccer team after injuring it the prospect of a premature end to the cricket season is tough to swallow.
"I'm upset to have the season cut short, but there are good and bad sides to it," the Queensland cricket under-16 development player said.
"I look at next year's representative calendar and know that if I don't have the operation now, I won't be ready for it.
"I will be coming back at the start of next season very motivated."
Phelps, nominated for an Australia Day Award (junior sportsperson of the year category) took nine scalps at 24 during Norths' two-day campaign in 2012.
But he says he learnt more when he wasn't taking wickets.
"I got hit around a bit by Graham Dutton against Rovers, then Brenton Edwards at Tully and at first I was really frustrated, because I had been bowling well," he said.
"But I learnt you have to be patient as a spinner and expect to get hit a bit."
The Cricket Far North season resumes this Saturday with round two of the 40-over competition, while United off-spinner Michael Salerno is preparing for the Australian Country Championships that start in Bundaberg later this week.
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Special tweak: Andrew Phelps will be out for the season.