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Cape Town – Former Proteas wicketkeeper Mark Boucher expressed doubt on Wednesday on whether he would play professional cricket again.
He said in Cape Town it was highly unlikely he would return to play locally for the Cape Cobras either.
“The risk of additional damage to my left eye or even damage to the other eye, doesn't warrant it,” Boucher told reporters at the Newlands cricket stadium.
An emotional Boucher said he lost the lens, iris, and pupil of his left eye.
“I have had two major operations and four blood-draining operations in the past three weeks and physically, at times, I have been in a lot of pain,” Boucher said.
South Africa's longest-serving wicketkeeper told journalists he believed he was in good hands and accepted the healing process would take time.
The acclaimed cricketer said it was always his plan to share his experience with young players.
But, this would not happen while he was confined to his home to recover.
“First things first; I need to consider my health.”
Boucher's doctor Peter Sandell sat next to the cricketer to explain the medical recovery process.
“The fact that his retina is intact is good news. On the flip side, he lost his lens and iris, both of which could at a later stage be replaced,” Sandell said.
The retina is the light-sensitive surface that lines the inside of the eyeball. The iris is the coloured part of the eye.
Sandell said the next few months would yield a clearer picture of the healing process.
Boucher used the opportunity to thank his fans, sponsors, fellow players and the Cobras for their support.
“Although I appreciate the sentiments expressed, I don't want people to feel sorry for me,” Boucher said.
“Injuries happen and this could have happened earlier on in my career. I am incredibly grateful for the length of career that I have had.”
Boucher said he was watching every ball of South Africa's Test series against England.
“The emotions are always there. When South Africa is playing well I'm happy. They went through a trying time last week. That's when I get emotional and want to jump through the screen and pat the guys on the back.”
Boucher believed the team was in good hands following his departure.
“AB (de Villiers) didn't expect to go and keep (wicket). He dropped a few. Personally, I believe he's done really well,” he said.
On his day-to-day life since the injury, Boucher said he experienced headaches and found it difficult adjusting.
“You're looking at the world through a toilet roll. I can't really do much, because of pressure on the eye. I know I'll get over it.”
Boucher was struck in the eye by a flying bail during the Proteas' tour of England, prompting him to announce his immediate retirement from international cricket.
He had been a Proteas' player for the past 15 years and holds several records for dismissals. – Sapa