He is the greatest off-spinner Australia has ever seen and the marathon man when it comes to Test cricket, but there is one iconic Australian skill that Nathan Lyon has yet to master.
- Lyon has completed 10 weeks of rehabilitation for a torn calf suffered in The Ashes
- Part of the rehabilitation involved a traditional Australian skill that Lyon struggles with
- Hoping to return to first-class cricket mid-October
Cricket legend Nathan Lyon can do almost anything in the middle, but put him in a pool and the tide turns very quickly.
Speaking in an interview with GOATAn online platform for connecting spectators and athletes, Lyon has given an incredibly rare insight into his rehabilitation following his calf injury in England during the Ashes series.
Rehabilitation that involves work in the pool, more precisely – swimming.
“I’m trying to swim, which is a challenge in itself,” he said during the candid interview when asked if any of his rehabilitation sessions were “weird.”
It seems putting his head in the water scares him more than facing speed demons who worship bowling bouncers like Ben Stokes and Mark Wood.
After the tear, Nathan Lyon came out that June afternoon at Lord’s and tried to bat, which didn’t end well.
The next day he was on crutches and a 10-week rehabilitation program was put in place.
Lyon also shared his timetable for returning to first-class cricket, saying he would be ready by mid-October.
“Really excited about how the calf is going,” he said.
“It’s been 10 weeks since this happened and the medical team around me has implemented rehabilitation like nothing we’ve ever seen before on a calf.”
Lyon was left lame while fielding a ball late on the second day of the second Test at Lord’s in June and appeared unable to put weight on his right leg as he was helped from the field by Australian staff .
The next day, after scans and medical treatments, Cricket Australia provided an update on the condition of Lyon, who became the first bowler to play 100 consecutive Tests by entering the London field.
“Nathan has been diagnosed with a significant calf strain,” the release said.
“He will need a period of rehabilitation once this match is over.
Once back in Sydney, scans revealed it was more than a strain and was actually a tear.
Since that moment, he has prioritized his recovery.
“I started running earlier this week after 10 weeks of recovery and will start bowling again this weekend. My gym sessions have gone from an hour to about three hours now, and there have been a lot of calf raises,” he explained.
“There’s also a lot of toe walking, but the calf raises are interesting. I do them in different positions and I’ve never done this before or understood how or why before.
He went from not being able to put weight on his torn calf to “feeling better than ever in my legs.”
“I think I’ll play again by the second Shield game, which will be, like I said, in mid-October, and I’ll be ready.
“The fans need not worry because I am back better than before and I can’t wait to come out in the middle with the ball in hand.”
This forced break and conquering his fear of water may have added years to Lyon’s trying life.
The GOAT will be 38 years old by the time of the next 2025 Ashes series.
Muttiah Muralitharan, another legendary spinner, got this far, but Shane Warne finished at 37.
Lyon talks Friday about his return date, his swimming struggles and the freshness of GOATD
“To be honest, I don’t see any reason why I can’t continue,” he said.
“I’ve always said this since day one: If I wake up one morning and I don’t have the will to improve, that’s when I have to walk away from the game.
“But I wake up hungrier than ever now. I feel like I have a lot to give and I’m looking forward to it.
“I’m far from finished in my eyes.”